Raleigh County

Police watching for impaired drivers on NYE

BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) - As New Year's Eve is on Monday, local police are urging people to avoid drinking and driving. First offense DUI's in the state of West Virginia can lead to serious consequences.

"Drinking and driving is a recipe for disaster. Not only could you be thrown into jail, but worse put yourself or others into a life threatening situation." Beckley Police, Sgt. Jamie Wilhite, said. "You really need to consider all of the ramifications."

"That one decision you make of driving impaired or under the influence could affect the rest of your life," Wilhite said.

In the state of West Virginia, law enforcement officers take driving under the influence very seriously. A first time conviction is generally a misdemeanor and could face large fines, license suspension and possible jail time.

"If you do get arrested, that is going to be on your record, your employers are going to look at that," Wilhite said.

A first offense DUI can lead to spending a maximum of six months in jail, but if the driver has a blood alcohol level of .15% or greater, there is a minimum of two days in jail. Along with that, fines up to a thousand dollars and six months without your drivers license. Wilhite said, the best way to avoid all of this is to just use your head.

"Make sure you have a sober driver whenever you go out, or Uber and taxis. Most of these bars have shuttle vans or drunk vans to get you to and from where you need to go. Just be responsible and make sure you make good decisions," Wilhite said.

Police urge you to call 911 if you see an impaired driver on the road.

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