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Navy petty officer facing DUI charges after Virginia accident

The roadways can sometimes be a dangerous place. Even though drivers and passengers take safety precautions, they often cannot protect themselves from an intoxicated driver. A drunk driving accident could serious affect the victims involved and could result in serious penalties for the driver.

Accidents involving drunk drivers are of particular concern to law enforcement officials in the state of Virginia. A local 29-year-old Navy petty officer is now facing DUI charges after allegedly crashing into a pedestrian while driving under the influence of alcohol. Court documents indicate that the driver's blood alcohol level was 0.25, just over three times the legal limit of .08.

The driver was allegedly going to the store to purchase beer when the accident occurred. Additional details about the accident are not available at this time, but the pedestrian's fiancée reported that he was crossing the street during a day at the beach when he was hit. The pedestrian was taken to the hospital where he later passed away. The driver has been charged with a second offense DUI and involuntary manslaughter.

The driver is currently assigned to long-term, limited duty at Portsmouth Naval Medical Center while he undergoes treatment for cancer. Unfortunately, the driver has had two prior DUI convictions in other states. This means that the consequences will likely be more serious if he is convicted of the charges at hand. The driver is currently being held without bond. The judge handling the case agreed to appoint a public defender to hopefully find a way for the driver to receive treatment while in jail.

Once a driver is convicted of a DUI, sentencing typically occurs immediately afterwards. The judge will consider the defendant's DUI record and criminal history, the impact on the victims, and the defendant's personal circumstances when determining the driver's punishment. Drivers convicted of multiple DUIs or those who have caused death to another person may face long prison sentences. This is why it is so important to defend against DUI charges.

Any driver suspected of a DUI or a drunk driving accident is entitled to a strong defense. It is important to fully understand the situation, the charges against them and possible options for a defense strategy. Seeking guidance could help them protect their rights and interests.

Source: PilotOnline.com, "Driver who hit Va. Beach pedestrian faces DUI charge," Elisabeth Hulette and Margaret Matray, May 7, 2014

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