It is always a difficult and touchy situation in Virginia and elsewhere when an elected local official is arrested for drunk driving. The press coverage will usually be more intensive and the person will suffer a degree of exposure that may be extensive. This is the problem being faced recently by an Henrico County School Board member who was arrested in the early morning hours of Aug. 5 on DUI/DWI charges.
It is not helpful for an accused driver to get drunk driving charges that involve hitting a pedestrian and other vehicles in the process. It is clearly much worse if the person who is hit is the on-duty police officer who pulled the operator over for suspected DUI/DWI. This type of scenario played out in Virginia Beach recently when an officer made a traffic stop on a vehicle for suspected drunk driving.
A driver who does not stop when law enforcement authorities try to pull the vehicle over is creating a reckless hazard and additional allegations may be made that would not have been charged otherwise. The Virginia State Police reported such an event recently when the operator of a BMW was suspected of speeding and erratic driving. When the operator would not pull over, a chase ensued and the suspect was arrested for DUI/DWI.
What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. That's a tourism tagline nearly everyone has heard at some time. High on the same list is "Virginia is for Lovers." People from all over the United States come to this region of the mid-Atlantic to take in the history, be impressed by the naval might on display and vacation on the shores of the ocean and the Chesapeake.
The language of Virginia law when it comes to driving under the influence of anything is pretty straightforward. If you operate any motor vehicle under the influence of any intoxicating substance, you can be arrested and charged with driving under the influence.
Many college students in Newport News do not think of the consequences of their actions until there is a reason for them to do so. Drinking and partying with friends is all fun and games until someone makes the decision to drink and drive.
When it comes to driving under the influence and driving while intoxicated, there is really no distinction. We went into some detail on this question in a post last May. In Virginia, the charge is the same if you are accused of DUI or DWI.
Just about a year ago, that we wrote about consequences an individual in Virginia could face if convicted for a third time for driving under the influence. Penalties can be serious in such cases. So can they be for first time DUI offenses, however, so anytime a charge is brought you should be prepared to do all you can to protect your rights. Working with a skilled attorney is the way to do that.