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Alcohol-Impaired Driving in West Virginia


Drunk driving is very common across the United States and has caused thousands of fatalities. More than 10,000 people in the United States die each year in crashes that involve drunk driving. Let’s take a look at drunk driving trends in West Virginia compared to national data. 

Drunk Driving in West Virginia

According to the CDC, 1.7% of adults report that they drive after drinking, while 0.9% of people report the same thing in West Virginia. A BAC of 0.08 and higher is considered drunk driving in the state of West Virginia, and can cause you to be subject to a DUI charge. A BAC of 0.05 and higher or refusing a blood alcohol test altogether can put you at risk for a conviction or loss of your driver’s license. Jail times for drunk driving convictions can be up to 10 years, and fines can be up to $5,000.

Let’s take a look at drivers killed in alcohol-impaired crashes in 2019, sorted by BAC of the driver.

BAC = .00 BAC = .01-.07 BAC = .08+ BAC = .01+ Total Killed
West Virginia 131 5 34 40 171
United States 15,150 1,093 6,370 7,463 22,613

From the data above, it can be concluded that the majority of drivers killed in drunk driving crashes had a BAC of zero, this shows that many West Virginia accidents are caused by the other driver being drunk.

In West Virginia, publicized sobriety checkpoints are allowed, which can help reduce the number of impaired drivers on the road. 

West Virginia Zero Tolerance Law

West Virginia is a zero tolerance state, meaning that if you are under 21, you could be convicted with drunk driving charges if you have even a small amount of alcohol in your system.

Which Gender is More Likely to Get in a Fatal Accident?

According to FARS data from 1994 to 2019, more men have gotten into drunk driving crashes than women in West Virginia. In 2019, 269 men were involved in fatal drunk driving crashes, while only 82 women were. 

What Time of Day are you Most Likely to be Involved in a Fatal Drunk Driving Accident?

FARS data from West Virginia in 2019 shows what times of day have more drunk driving collisions than others. According to the data, the most fatal alcohol-impaired car accidents in West Virginia occur between the hours of 9pm and 3am. The nationwide data shows this as well. The least amount of fatal accidents that involve alcohol occur in the morning hours. 

Time of Day % of Accidents that Involved Alcohol-Impared Driving
Midnight to 2:59am 63
3am to 5:59am 17
6am to 8:59am 9
9am to 11:59am 1
Noon to 2:59pm 12
3pm to 5:59pm 15
6pm to 8:59pm 24
9pm to 11:59pm 56

How to Prevent Drunk Driving in West Virginia

In order to reduce the number of drunk drivers on the road, there are many statewide and nationwide initiatives that can help prevent alcohol-impaired driving. 

Here are a few examples:


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