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West Virginia targets DUI-caused accidents

For people in Charleston, it is not uncommon to hear about a car accident caused by a drunk driver who already had previous DUI convictions. Sometimes, these drunk driving accidents can cause death or serious injury, which may prompt the victims and their families to question why the drunk drivers were still allowed to get behind the wheel. After a series of car accidents in West Virginia caused by repeat DUI offenders, state officials are considering if the current DUI penalties are enough to prevent motorists from driving drunk.

Under current West Virginia law, the penalty for DUI convictions increases for subsequent drunk driving offenses. However, the penalty is not enough of a deterrent for some people, as some families know all to well. In Sissonville, a woman and her mother were killed when a drunk driver with 10 previous DUI convictions crashed into their car. The driver's blood alcohol level was more than three times the legal limit. The woman's family has led the call for authorities to increase the penalties for drunk driving. The West Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles is promoting a requirement for people with DUI convictions to have interlock devices installed in their cars, which would prevent a driver from starting the car if he or she is legally drunk.

If you have injuries or medical expenses from an accident caused by a drunk or distracted driver, you may find it helpful to contact a personal injury attorney to see if you are entitled to compensation.

WCHS, "Recent Accidents Put Spotlight on WV DUI Laws," Kera Mashek, Oct. 7, 2013

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