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.
In addition to those charges, however, the police charged him with felony eluding, speeding, resisting arrest and driving on a revoked operator's license. The chase started at about 2:45 a.m. on I-264. The driver allegedly exited the interstate at Rosemont Road, then ran a red light and crashed his vehicle at Bonney Road, per the police. He then exited the vehicle and ran on foot, police say.
After the crash, police report taking two passengers into custody. Apparently, police are indicating that the male driver is still a fugitive. Police also charged him with DUI but reportedly withdrew that charge later in the day. With the man on the run, police must have assessed that they could not prove drunk driving.
The finding of probable cause on a drunk driving charge cannot be based solely on speeding and erratic driving. Law enforcement would have to at least observe the suspect's demeanor, and check him for the odor of alcohol. A suspect will be more easily subject to proof of DUI/DWI offenses if law enforcement is able to take a Breathalyzer test. However, if the facts are basically as alleged by the Virginia State Police, the inability to charge the suspect with drunk driving involved a trade-off. The man now faces felony offenses and a tougher case to defend in the criminal courts.
Source: wavy.com, "Police chase ends in crash in Virginia Beach", David Craft, July 19, 2017