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Liquor law in West Virginia

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The drinking age in West Virginia is consistent with the drinking age across the United States, which is set at 21 years old. This age limit for purchasing and consuming alcohol was established by the National Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984, which required states to raise their legal drinking age to 21 or risk losing federal highway funding.

West Virginia complied with this federal law by raising the minimum legal drinking age to 21 in 1986. Prior to this change, the minimum drinking age in West Virginia was 18 years old.

While it is illegal for individuals under 21 years old to purchase or consume alcohol in West Virginia, there are a few exceptions to this rule. For example, individuals who are at least 18 years old and actively serving in the military may consume alcohol on military property. Additionally, persons under the age of 21 may legally possess and consume alcohol if it is provided to them by their parent, guardian, or spouse who is over the age of 21 and supervising their consumption.

It is important to note that West Virginia takes underage drinking very seriously and enforces strict penalties for individuals who violate the state's drinking laws. Penalties may include fines, loss of driving privileges, community service, and even jail time.

Overall, it is important to abide by the legal drinking age in West Virginia to ensure safety and avoid legal penalties.

Brief Summary of Driving and Alcohol Laws in West Virginia

West Virginia has strict laws and regulations regarding driving under the influence of alcohol. The state has a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit of 0.08% for adult drivers, and for commercial drivers, the limit is 0.04%. Moreover, the state has zero-tolerance laws for drivers under the age of 21, with a BAC limit of 0.02%.

Penalties for DUI

If a person is found to be driving under the influence in West Virginia, they can face severe penalties, depending on the circumstances. The penalties can include fines, jail time, community service, and/or a suspended driver's license.

The severity of the penalty depends on the number of offenses and the BAC level. For example, a first-time offender with a BAC level between 0.08% and 0.15% may face up to six months in jail, a fine of up to $500, and a license suspension of up to six months.

Implied Consent Laws

In West Virginia, drivers are required to give their consent to a blood, breath, or urine test if they are suspected of driving under the influence. Refusing to take these tests can result in an automatic driver's license suspension and other penalties.

Open Container Laws

West Virginia has open container laws that prohibit drivers and passengers from having open containers of alcohol in the vehicle while driving. Violating this law can result in fines and other penalties, including points on the driver's license.

Dram Shop Laws

West Virginia has dram shop laws that hold establishments liable for over-serving customers who are later involved in drunk driving accidents. If an establishment serves alcohol to a person who is clearly intoxicated, and that person later causes an accident, the establishment can be held responsible for any damages or injuries caused.

In conclusion, West Virginia has strict laws and regulations regarding driving under the influence of alcohol. It is essential for drivers to understand these laws and to never drive while intoxicated. Doing so can result in severe penalties that can affect their lives for years to come.

Blood Alcohol Concentration in West Virginia

Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) in West Virginia
Adults 21+
Commercial Drivers
Under 21

When a person consumes alcohol, it enters their bloodstream and affects their ability to drive. In West Virginia, the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit for drivers over 21 years old is 0.08%. This means it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle with a BAC of 0.08% or higher.

For commercial drivers, the legal BAC limit is lower at 0.04% to ensure they are not impaired while operating larger vehicles. For drivers under 21 years old, the legal BAC limit is also lower at 0.02%.

In West Virginia, exceeding the legal BAC limit is considered "per se" evidence of impairment, meaning it is enough to establish that a driver is under the influence without any additional evidence.

It's important for adults in West Virginia to be aware of these limits and plan ahead to avoid driving while impaired.

Open container law in West Virginia

Overview of Open Container Law in West Virginia

West Virginia has strict regulations when it comes to open containers of alcohol in public places. The state prohibits possessing open containers of alcoholic beverages in certain specific locations. Below are some key details about West Virginia's open container laws:

Public Places

It is illegal to possess an open container of alcohol in the following public places:

  • Streets
  • Sidewalks
  • Alleys
  • Highways
  • Parking lots
  • Public parks


In vehicles, open containers of alcoholic beverages are forbidden in the passenger area. The areas behind the last seat that passengers use for seating are considered part of the passenger area.


A person who violates the open container law in West Virginia may face a fine of up to $100 or imprisonment of up to six months.


There are some exemptions to this law, such as for passengers of buses or limousines operated by licensed carriers. However, it is recommended to consult a legal professional for further information on such exemptions.

Overall, it is important for individuals to be aware of and follow West Virginia's open container laws to avoid legal consequences.

West Virginia Liquor Sale Open Hours

Liquor Sale Open Hours in West Virginia

The state of West Virginia has strict laws regarding the sale of liquor. A person must be at least 21 years of age to purchase or consume alcoholic beverages. The sale of liquor is regulated by the state, and liquor stores must follow specific operating hours. Below is a table outlining the liquor sale open hours in West Virginia.

Type of Establishment Days Open Hours
Liquor Stores Monday-Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Liquor Stores Sunday Closed
Restaurants and Bars Monday-Saturday 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 a.m. the following day
Restaurants and Bars Sunday 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m. the following day

It is important to note that these hours are subject to change, and it is always best to check with individual establishments for their specific hours of operation. Additionally, some counties and municipalities may have more restrictive liquor laws, so it is important to be aware of local regulations. As always, please drink responsibly and never drink and drive.