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State Profiles of Underage Drinking Laws

- West Virginia -

Underage Drinking: Underage Purchase of Alcohol

Purchase is prohibited, but youth MAY PURCHASE for law enforcement purposes.

Underage Drinking: Furnishing Alcohol to Minors

Furnishing is prohibited WITH THE FOLLOWING EXCEPTION(S):

  • parent/guardian
  • OR spouse

Notes:
West Virginia's exception allows relatives by blood or marriage to furnish alcohol to minors.

Underage Drinking: Minimum Ages for On-Premises Servers and Bartenders

Beer: 18 for both servers and bartenders
Wine: 18 for both servers and bartenders
Spirits: 18 for both servers and bartenders

Condition(s) that must be met in order for an underage person to sell alcoholic beverages:

  • manager/supervisor is present

Underage Drinking: False Identification for Obtaining Alcohol

Provision(s) targeting minors:

  • Use of a false ID to obtain alcohol is a criminal offense
  • Penalty may include driver's license suspension through an administrative procedure

Provision(s) targeting retailers:

  • State provides incentives to retailers who use electronic scanners that read birthdate and other information digitally encoded on valid identification cards
  • Licenses for drivers under age 21 are easily distinguishable from those for drivers age 21 and older
  • General affirmative defense - the retailer came to a good faith or reasonable decision that the purchaser was 21 years or older; inspection of an identification card not required

Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) Limits: Youth (Underage Operators of Noncommercial Motor Vehicles)
BAC limit: 0.02 - a BAC level above the limit is per se (conclusive) evidence of a violation.

Applies to drivers under age 21.

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism National Institutes of Health Department of Health and Human Services USA.gov - Government Made Easy