Driving under the influence on private land ruled illegal in West Virginia

Published: Nov. 2, 2016 at 1:35 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

The West Virginia Supreme Court has ruled that driving under the influence on private property is a crime.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports that the Supreme Court's 4-1 ruling last week reversed a Monroe County circuit judge's interpretation of DUI statues.

Chief Justice Menis Ketchum wrote in the majority opinion that DUI laws apply to every physical boundary of the state.

“The Legislature’s definition of the phrase ‘in this State’ ... extends the reach of our driving-under-the-influence laws to any individual driving a vehicle within the physical boundaries of West Virginia, even if the vehicle is driven only upon private property not open to the general public,” Chief Justice Ketchum wrote.

The court also ruled that people driving under the influence on private property can have their driver's licenses taken away.

The case stemmed from a 2012 accident in which a man crashed while driving an ATV under the influence in a field owned by his family.