Penalties for drunk driving are harsher than ever in Virginia, and they run the chance of becoming even tougher in the not-too-distant future.
Many readers may be aware that federal safety officials have suggested lowering the current 0.08 percent blood alcohol limit for drunk driving convictions to 0.05 percent. Whether that will come to pass in Virginia is a matter of speculation, but the idea does have its supporters, so it seems likely that the issue is going to get a proper airing at some point.
Meanwhile, there law enforcement continues to work diligently with the 0.08 percent limit that is already on the books. Charges of driving under the influence are leveled against tens of thousands of individuals in the state every year and the penalties associated with a conviction, even for a first-time offense, can be serious.
One should never face such charges without the benefit of an experienced attorney. And if the charges should include something more serious, such as the death of a victim from an accident, solid legal representation is that much more important.
There's a man being held in Virginia Beach right now who likely appreciates this. He was involved in a multi-car crash along Princess Anne Road on June 8. According to police, he was driving his pickup truck south on that road. He had a child with him.
The accident happened when he allegedly went off the road to the right. Officials say he overcorrected and went into the oncoming lane of traffic where he struck a sedan being driven by an 84-year-old Virginia Beach man. Another car then piled into the pickup truck.
The elderly man died at the scene. A passenger in his car and the driver of the second car were hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries. The arrested man and the child with him were not hurt. But the man now faces a charge of DUI with a child present, another of involuntary manslaughter and a charge of maiming.
Source: WAVY-TV, "Man charged with DUI in deadly VB crash," June 12, 2013; Martinsville Bulletin, "Lower drunken driving limit backed," Paul Collins, May 20, 2013