Allegations of driving under the influence have become perhaps too common. They are perhaps so common that when we hear that someone is facing DUI charges we automatically presume their guilt and jump to a conclusion that they should get the stiffest penalty possible under the law.
Virginia Beach authorities might like nothing better. But the reality is that charges of DUI are just like any other crime under our system of justice. People charged are innocent until proven guilty. The fact that a person can face penalties even before a conviction has been obtained might seem to belie that ideal, but it is the truth of the matter.
The recent New Year's holiday saw police out in force conducting DUI checkpoints. Following up on the Monday-into-Tuesday time period, officials issued a news release to announce that the efforts of 35 police officers at two separate checkpoints resulted in a total of ten arrests.
They reported four DUI arrests at a North Great Neck Road checkpoint and one drug arrest. A checkpoint at Independence Boulevard and Interstate 264 resulted in six DUI arrests. One person was arrested for being drunk in public.
A lot of elements need to come together for a driving under the influence charge to be sustained. Questions can often be raised about the validity of the cause police had for making a stop and an arrest, though that may not be the case when checkpoints are involved. There can also be problems with field sobriety testing. Results of blood alcohol content tests can be suspect, as well.
Noting how essential our driving privileges are to our livelihoods, and the fact that these can be put at risk from a DUI charge, it makes sense to do all one can to fight the allegations. An attorney can help.
Source: WAVY-TV, "VB checkpoints net 10 DUI arrests, Jan. 2, 2013