As a Morgantown criminal defense attorney who routinely represents folks accused of DUI, I’ve been following news of House Bill 2664, which is known more commonly as “Andrea and Willy’s Law” – which was signed into law this week by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin.
For those who aren’t familiar, the bill, which increases some penalties for DUI in West Virginia, was named after a young man who was killed in a car crash in 2009. The young man’s friend (and the driver of the car), Kevin “Josh” Jackson, admitted to investigators that he was drunk at the time of the crash, and was sentenced to serve a year in prison after being convicted. It is also named after a 14-year-old girl who also died in a car crash at the hands of a drunk driver with a history of DUI convictions.
Although the governor signed the bill into law May 27, it won’t actually go into effect until June 16, when the penalty for causing death of a serious injury while DUI jumps to a felony. The verbiage of the new law indicates that if a driver is found guilty of a DUI that causes injury or death, he or she could face as many as five years in jail, as well as a fine of as much as $3,000.
Currently, West Virginia law does not mandate jail time for DUI causing death.
Additionally, the law increases penalties for folks who are charged with a second or subsequent DUI.
As I’ve said so many times before: This law is just indicative of the hard stance West Virginia is taking against DUI drivers.
If you’re currently charged with a DUI and don’t understand the law or how it may affect your case, please don’t hesitate to call my office today for a free consultation.
Let me help.