There are many signs that a person is under the influence of alcohol. However, these signs could also be indicators of other issues, such as a medical condition. Unfortunately, police officers in Virginia may automatically assume that alcohol is the underlying cause of certain behaviors, rather than ruling out other possibilities. One man now faces a DUI charge, among others, after an off-duty police officer claims that he witnessed an accident.
The incident is said to have occurred one evening in early February. A deputy who was off duty claims that he was in his personal vehicle when he witnessed a vehicle attempting a U-turn and striking a van. The deputy claims he called for an ambulance and back up, then followed the first vehicle, claiming the driver left the scene.
Officers eventually stopped the vehicle and arrested the driver. They claim that the man was involved in another traffic accident. He has since been charged with DUI, property damage and hit and run. A field sobriety test was not conducted. It is unclear at this time how officers connected the driver to the second accident and what evidence supports accusations that he was intoxicated.
Accusations of driving under the influence of alcohol can have serious consequences. Because of the stigma associated with a DUI charge in Virginia, many people may forget that a person is presumed innocent until and unless proved otherwise. If evidence of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt is not provided, a defendant must be found not guilty. Fortunately, there are experienced professionals who can help guide those facing such charges throughout the criminal process, ensuring that they are prepared to make informed decisions about their cases.
Source: Fredericksburg, VA Patch, "Drunk Man Causes Multiple Auto Accidents in Stafford: Police", Skip Wood, Feb. 3, 2017