Avoid DUI in Fairfax County, Call Sober Ride

If you’re planning on leaving the house to partake in New Year’s celebrations, make sure you have a sober ride. The Washington Regional Alcohol Program is once again offering cab rides home. The passenger is responsible for any difference over $30 in fare and must be 21 years of age. Since the program was first implemented in 1993, Sober Ride has given over 55,000 safe rides home to would-be drunk drivers. You can contact Sober Ride at 1-800-200-TAXI.

If you or a loved one is involved in a DWI charge or arrest, please contact the Gordon Law Firm toll-free at 866-591-NOVA or locally at 703-218-8416 for your free consultation.

 

Information for this post was taken from http://www.wrap.org/soberride/

 


Idaho Senator Mike Crapo arrested for DUI in Virginia

Senator Crapo was arrested for DUI on Sunday Morning

Mike Crapo, the Idaho senator, was arrested for DUI early Sunday morning in the City of Alexandia, Virginia.  Police said the senator’s blood-alcohol level was .110. In Virginia, drivers at a blood-alcohol level.08 or higher are considered intoxicated.  There is no difference in punishment between DUI and DWI in Virginia, which is Virginia Code Section 18.2-266.

Idaho Senator Crapo will face a Class One Misdemeanor, which means that, if found guilty, he can be sentenced to up to 12 months in jail, a fine of up to $2500.00, and lose his driving privileges in Virginia for 12 months.  He will also be required to serve at least 12 months of probation and complete the Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program, or VASAP.  He was released on $1,000 bond, and has a court date scheduled for January 4, 2013 in Alexandria General District Court.

Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) issued a public apology after being arrested for drunken driving or DUI in Northern Virginia.

Jody Donaldson, a spokesperson for the Alexandria Police Department, said in an e-mail that Crapo was arrested at 12:45 a.m. Sunday. An Alexandria police officer noticed Crapo’s vehicle run through a red traffic light, and after the vehicle was stopped, the officer conducted field sobriety tests, which Crapo failed, Donaldson said. Crapo was arrested for driving under the influence, and taken into custody without incident, Donaldson said.

In a statement, Crapo apologized for his actions.

“I am deeply sorry for the actions that resulted in this circumstance,” Crapo said. “I made a mistake for which I apologize to my family, my Idaho constituents and any others who have put their trust in me. I accept total responsibility and will deal with whatever penalty comes my way in this matter.

“I will also undertake measures to ensure that this circumstance is never repeated.”

The 61-year-old Republican is serving his third term in the U.S. Senate. According to Politico.com, Senator Crapo has said publicly that he abstains from alcohol.

Alex Gordon, a Virginia DUI attorney in Fairfax County, which neighbors the City of Alexandria, has represented hundreds of clients on charges of DUI. Gordon, a trial attorney for 18 years, offers the following advice to congressmen, senators, and anyone else who are unfamiliar with Virginia DUI laws.

  • First, if you have been drinking in the DC metro area, it is always best to call a taxi or a designated driver.  The $50 spent on a taxi each time will save you thousands on fines, insurance rate increases, and attorney fees.   If you are an elected official, that $50 cab fare will also prevent you from having to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars to pay for television ads to counter your opponents attack ads that show your mug shot.
  • Second, in Virginia, field sobriety tests are voluntary.  You do not need to say the ABC’s.  You do not need to follow the pen with your eyes.  You do not need to touch your nose, walk a straight line, or stand on one leg.  If an officer asks you (or orders you polititely) to perform these tests, you can say “No”.  If you choose to say no, do so politely and realize that you may still be arrested by the officer.  However, by refusing politiely to do these voluntary tests, a driver eliminates a great deal of the typical evidence that is usually used at trial to convict a driver of DUI.
  • You are not required under Virginia law to tell the police officer how much you had to drink.  Whatever amount you claim you drank that night is a voluntary statement that will be used to convict you.  How many times do you think the officer has heard, “I only had two beers.”  If you admit to three drinks or more, you probably should have called a taxi and the judge and prosecutor (or your constituents) are not likely to be impressed with your honesty.
  • You are not required to blow into any machine in Virginia that a police officer can hold in his or her hand.  If an officer says that it cannot be used against you in court, understand that despite the officer’s friendly legal advice, any result that is obtained by the handhold device can be used for purposes of determining probable cause to arrest you.  Also the result probably will be written down in a public record called a “Criminal Complaint”, that will be filed with the Clerk of Court in order to suspend your privilege to drive.
  • You are required to blow into a machine that is attached to a computer. HOWEVER, if you do not blow into that machine, the only punishment is a civil penalty of a 12 month license suspension.  For a first offense of refusing to blow into that machine, there is no fine, no probation, no jail, and no criminal record.  BUT if you refuse to blow into the machine, the evidence that you refused the test may be used against you at your DUI trial.  You get to choose whether to blow into the machine.  If you are like Senator Crapo, who chose to provide a breath sample, which proved to be .11, which is above Virginia’s limit of .08 BAC, that evidence (unless challenged successfully) will hurt his chances at trial a great deal.
  • In Virginia, you do not get to choose between a blood test and a breath test.  The police do not have to follow your request to have a blood test taken after your breath test is completed. Congressmen and Senators, please note that the police officer does not have to listen to how DUI laws work in your state.

Alex Gordon has been named one of the Top 100 Trial Attorneys in Virginia by the National Trial Lawyers and was designated as one of the top criminal defense attorneys in NorthernVirginia magazine.  If you, a family member (or your congressman or senator) have been charged with DUI or Reckless Driving in Virginia, please contact The Gordon Law Firm at 703.218.8416 or 1-800-591-6682.  We offer free consultations for all traffic and criminal defense cases.

 

 


NTSB Recommends All States Require Ignition Interlock for DUI Offenders

Recently, in July 2012, the Commonwealth of Virginia made it mandatory that all those convicted of a DUI, even first time offenders, have an ignition interlock installed in their cars. An ignition interlock device has to be blown into before the car ignition will switch on. If the driver’s blood alcohol concentration is more than the allowed amount (which is usually over .02%) the car will not start, the sample will be logged and the car’s alarm will turn on until the keys are removed from ignition. On top of having to exhale every time you want to start your car, the driver is also required to breathe into the device at random times after the car has been started. The device comes with a $60 monthly maintenance fee and $60 installation price. If you can’t afford the price of installation, the companies that manufacture the IIDs will pay for the cost.

Now, the National Transportation Board is recommending that all states make it mandatory for all DUI offenders to have a device placed in their car. Currently only 17 states have laws that require it in exchange for a restricted license. A study conducted by the NTSB has shown that out of 32,000 yearly deaths on the highway, about a third of those are caused by drunk drivers. More so, 69% of drivers involved in wrong-way fatalities had an above the legal limit of alcohol in their system at the time of the crash.

Many suggestions were bounced around at the recent meeting of the NTSB; the five-person board has suggested better lighting on highways, enhanced roadway signs and markings, and an in-car GPS that warns the driver if they are driving down the wrong side of a road. New technology is being developed to curb drunk driving in addition to the IID. The Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety will utilize breath and touch sensors to analyze the level of alcohol in someone’s system.

Though the opposition argues this is a costly law, the pro-IID party says that it will be much less costly than the price of an accident or fatality.

If you find yourself or someone you know facing DWI charges in Fairfax, Prince William or Loudoun County, give The Gordon Law Firm a call at 703-218-8416 or toll-free at 1-800-591-NOVA (6682) to speak to an attorney today for your free consultation.

 

Articles quoted:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ignition_interlock_device

http://wtvr.com/2012/12/11/ignition-interlock-devices-could-become-required-in-all-states/


Virginia Traffic Laws Help Reduce Highway Deaths

In 2007, Virginia traffic-related deaths exceeded 1000 fatalities for the first time in nearly two decades. Virginia officials took notice and aggressively developed policies that would hopefully keep highway deaths under 800 per year, as they had between 1990 and 2007.

The Virginia Department of Highway Safety credits stricter licensing procedures for young drivers, anti-DUI laws, Virginia DUI checkpoints and driver education campaigns for lowering fatalities during the past 6 years. Officials say more drivers are wearing seatbelts, an effect of the click-it-or-ticket campaign. In the 1990s and 2000s about 70% of Virginian’s buckled up.   After “click it or ticket”, 82% of Virginia drivers use a seatbelt.  The Virginia Department of Highway Safety claims that through October 2012, 608 traffic-related fatalities have been recorded, and 242 of those drivers had not been wearing seatbelts. Although the traffic-related deaths have fallen, the average number of miles driven by Virginians has stayed generally the same.

With continued law enforcement campaigns, better driver education and stricter laws and regulations on younger drivers, Virginia’s traffic-related fatalities decline year after year. Combined with safer cars and improved roads, the number should steadily decline.

If you have been involved in a traffic accident and have been charged with Reckless Driving in Virginia or were injured in the accident caused by another driver’s negligence, contact The Gordon Law Firm at 703.218.8416 or ay 1.800.591.6682


Jenna Jameson blows .13 BAC and Gets DUI After Crash

In the early morning on May 25th, Jenna Jameson was charged with a DUI after crashing her vehicle into a light pole in Orange County, California.

According to sources, she took a breathalyzer test and was arrested on suspicion of DUI. She blew a .13 B.A.C. level. The sobriety test also indicated that she had 2 different prescriptions in her system.

Authorities said:

“Jenna blew a .13 and had two prescription drugs in her system at the time of her arrest — zolpidem (Ambien) and buprenorphine (Suboxone).”

Jameson was charged with driving without a valid license along with a DUI. She could face up to a year in jail if found guilty.

If Ms. Jameson had been driving in Virginia, her penalties for DUI would be a potential year in jail and a fine of up to $2500.00.  Her license would be suspended for one year and she could not get a restricted driver’s license unless she had ignition interlock placed on her vehicle.  It is odd that the police reported that Ms. Jameson had prescription drugs in her system.  Typically, the police would only administer either a breath test OR a blood test to determine intoxication.  The police report indicates that she “blew” a .13 BAC.  According to Fairfax DUI lawyer Alex Gordon, the breathalyzer test cannot determine presence of prescription drugs.

If you know someone who has been charged with a DUI in Virginia, The Gordon Law Firm offers free consultations.  Please call 703.218.8416 for more information.


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