Would stiffer penalties for DUI's save more lives? - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Would stiffer penalties for DUI's save more lives?

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Driving under the influence in Mercer County. Authorities told us they're seeing it far too often lately.

People we've been talking to say they believe stiffer penalties for DUI's could save lives.

On Tuesday morning in Mercer County, Joseph Dixon was arrested for DUI fleeing and wreckless driving. Monday night, a woman was arrested after hitting a man near Brushfork, breaking his leg and causing head injuries. She was arrested for a DUI and for driving with a suspended license.

2 weeks ago, Princeton Police pulled guns on a man who fled the scene while being pulled over for a DUI on Ingleside Road.

Chief Deputy Darrell B. Bailey told 59News getting behind the wheel after you've had a few drinks, is just not worth it.

"Well not only are they taking people's lives in their own hands and their own, the amount of injuries we see are crazy. Even if they don't hurt anyone, they're still facing jail time," said Chief Deputy Bailey.

Bailey said for those 21 and older, the Blood Alcohol Content limit is .08. He told us, depending on age and BAC, this is what a 1st DUI offender will face.

"Normally it's from 24 hours up to 6 months. Second offense can go from 6 months up to a year and a 3rd offense is a felony which goes from one year to 3 years in jail. If there's an injury or a death involved, the penalties are much stronger," he said.

If you are pulled over and you are under the age of 21, the BAC limit is .02.

"If you're 21 or younger, the penalties are stronger. If you have a BAC of more than .15 the penalties are even higher," Bailey told us.

Bailey also said if you flee from an officer on foot, you'll face an additional fine of $50-$100 and/or jail time up to a year, and for fleeing by vehicle, you'll face an additional $500-$1,000 fine and up to a year behind bars.

For more information on West Virginia State Code regarding DUI penalties:

http://www.legis.state.wv.us/legisdocs/code/14/WVC%2014%20%20-%20%202%20A-%20%20%203%20%20.htm