Drugged driving is a serious and deadly problem. In 2016, an estimated 11.8 million people drove while under the influence of illicit substances. The most common drugs in drivers’ systems involved in accidents are marijuana and prescription drugs, specifically painkillers. The role THC (the mind-altering ingredient in marijuana) plays is unclear, because it can remain in users’ systems for weeks after use. What is clear, however, is that drugged driving takes lives. Learn the laws on drugged driving in West Virginia.

New Laws on Medical Marijuana and Driving

In West Virginia, the Division on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse worked with police to establish policies and guidelines to prevent drugged driving. If someone operates a vehicle while under the influence of a controlled substance or other drug and/or alcohol in West Virginia, he or she is guilty of a driving under the influence (DUI) crime. The same is true if the driver is a “habitual user of narcotic drugs” and drives. Letting someone borrow a car while knowing that person is under the influence of drugs is also a criminal violation.

In 2017, Senate Bill 386 imposed a per se law making it a crime to operate a vehicle under the influence of marijuana – even if the driver is a state-registered medical cannabis patient. If the driver has 3ng/ml of THC or more in his/her blood, the driver will receive a DUI charge. A per se law means the driver is guilty by breaking the law, even if the drugs do not appear to have an impact on the driver’s abilities to control the vehicle. The new West Virginia medical marijuana laws have many afraid of spikes in drugged driving incidents. Based on statistics, drugged driving has already been on the rise the past few years.

National Increases in Drugged Driving

The most recent DUI statistics show that in 2015, for the first time, drugged driving outranked drunk driving in the percentage of people killed in DUI accidents (43% to 37%, respectively). West Virginia is one of five states that split $100,000 in funding from Responsibility.org to improve training on DUI driving for police officers in 2017. The dramatic increase in drugged driving is due to more states legalizing marijuana, as well as the ongoing opioid crisis across America.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency. According to an HHS infographic, opioid overdoses killed 42,249 people in 2016. That’s 116 people per day. Opioids include prescription painkillers as well as illicit substances such as heroin. The opioid epidemic is contributing to the increase in drugged driving, in West Virginia and around the country.

What Can You Do After Being a Victim in a Drugged Driving Accident?

If a driver under the influence of drugs causes your car accident in West Virginia, you have options. First, take care of yourself. Go to the hospital and explain what happened. Keep copies of your medical records and police reports. Always call 911 to report a DUI accident. When you can, call your auto insurance company and report the crash. Don’t agree to a recorded statement with the insurance adjuster, and don’t accept a settlement offer without talking to an experienced West Virginia personal injury attorney first.

Call a personal injury lawyer as soon as you can after your wreck. A lawyer can walk you through the steps you need to take, from moments after your accident to the final compensation agreement. An attorney can also take over communications with insurers on your behalf, making sure no one takes advantage of you. Hiring a West Virginia car accident lawyer for a DUI accident can maximize your odds of securing the best possible compensation award in an insurance settlement or personal injury case. Discuss your drugged driving accident case with an attorney today.

Attorney Timothy Manchin established the Manchin Injury Law Group in 2011 after his law partner of more than 25 years became a West Virginia circuit court judge. His focus is on helping individual clients and entire families victimized by negligent acts.

  • Taylor Downs was easy to talk to (I do not speak the legal language well!) and was very upfront and honest about the entire process of my case. He kept me updated as the case progressed, and answered my relentless questions. The end result was a favorable settlement that I’m not sure could have been any better with anyone else. In short, go see Taylor if you have a case. Don’t be intimidated to go seek his help, he won’t blow your brains out with “legal speak”.


  • Being referred to Taylor was the best thing I could have asked for. Taylor and staff are very easy to talk to. I would highly recommend them to anyone.


  • If I ever have to go through it again I would definetly call Taylor right away. The group was so helpful through my situation and handled everything that needed to be done. They made a stressful situation a stress free situation. With Taylor you dont have to worry about one thing. Definietly would recomend to anyone.

    - TAYLOR G.

  • Efficient, knowledgeable, and friendly.


  • Taylor and Tim helped make a difficult moment in life, a little more bearable. Easy to communicate with and informative. I will absolutely recommend them to everyone.


  • Manchin Injury Law Group, Took care of me when I got into a car accident while I was pregnant. Very scary moment for a first time mom but thankfully Manchin Injury Law Group had my back and treated me great. They made me feel as if I was part of their family. My son is now 7 Months Old and very happy and healthy. I’m very thankful for them for helping me through everything and getting me what we deserved. I 100% would recommend them to anyone. If I ever have an accident again they will be my number 1 phone call!


  • The support given helped me to feel like I was included in my personal injury case every step of the way. I was informed about the entire process throughout. It was amazing how quick the turn around time was and I would definitely recommend Attorney Timothy J. Manchin to anyone!


  • Taylor and Kelly worked hard on my case so I didn’t have to. Thanks guys!


  • Excellent experience dealing with Manchin Injury Law. They were very responsive, professional and easy to talk to. I did my homework before I hired a lawyer after my accident and I am so glad I found Manchin Injury Law Group. If you are injured, give them a call!


  • Taylor and Tim helped make a difficult moment in life, a little more bearable. Easy to communicate with and informative. I will absolutely recommend them to everyone.


  • Kelly and Taylor did all the hard work so that I didn’t have to. They both cared about my circumstance and got me a nice settlement. Taylor knows what he is doing and I felt comfortable with my case in his hands.


  • Great lawyers. They helped me with a West Virginia case.


  • Such a great experience with Taylor and this firm. Thankful for their diligence and their work on our case. Thank you to all!


  • Had a easy and smooth experience with a great attorney so when you go there make sure you ask for Taylor.


  • My experience at the Manchin Injury Law Group was extremely positive, and I would recommend them to anyone who needs a compassionate and experienced lawyer on their side.


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