Some high school students south of Weirton recently got very drunk and went for a drive. Fortunately, it was all an illusion created by the West Virginia Alcohol Beverage Control Administration's DUI simulator.
The teens at Pikeview High School had the disconcerting experience of having their perceptions distorted and driving impaired without drinking a drop. Hopefully, the students will learn that not only is drinking and driving dangerous, but that it can put an underage driver in serious legal trouble as well.
West Virginia has tough DUI laws designed to discourage everyone from drinking. Our zero tolerance policy cracks down on underage drivers who are allowed no amount of alcohol in their systems whatsoever.
The state says on its website that if you're under 21 and are tested with a BAC (blood alcohol content) of 0.02 percent to 0.08 percent, you will be fined up to $100 for a first offense. It also means you lose your driver's license for 30 days and must have an ignition interlock device installed in the vehicle. If you don't agree to have the device installed, your license is revoked for 60 days.
A second violation means 24 hours in jail and a fine that can rise to $500. You have your license revoked for at least 60 days with the ignition interlock; without it, your license is revoked for an undetermined period.
The high school students who tested the DUI simulator had fun trying to cope with the impairments imposed on them by the gadget, according to a TV report. All fun evaporates when a real police car lights up behind you, however.
You can discuss the circumstances of your drunk driving arrest with a Weirton attorney experienced in providing vigorous, effective DUI defense across the Ohio Valley and Western Pennsylvania. The defense of rights and freedoms is crucial to young drivers who don't want future employment or academic opportunities compromised by criminal records.