Driving under the influence is taken seriously in Virginia, and the authorities seek to get drivers who have been drinking off the road. Still, just because a driver is alleged to have been under the influence does not automatically imply guilt. The case and its tenets could be flawed. This is important to understand if checkpoints are in effect across the Commonwealth.
Drivers should be aware of Checkpoint Strikeforce
For nearly two decades, Virginia has had its Checkpoint Strikeforce. This is a combination of enhanced enforcement and teaching the public about DUI. The goal is to reduce the number of DUIs, crashes, injuries and fatalities. It is done periodically throughout the year during times when there is a perceived greater chance of drivers who might have been at leisure activities and celebrations that involve drinking alcohol. Examples are Labor Day, New Year’s Day and Memorial Day.
Statistically, DUIs cause a significant number of accidents with people being hurt and losing their lives. There were more than 18,600 DUI convictions in 2019 in Virginia. There were 264 deaths because of an alcohol-related auto accident. Almost one in three fatal crashes involved alcohol. Across the nation, states are trying to tamp down on DUIs. Since it started in 2002, the campaign has been successful in reducing the number of fatalities in Virginia by more than one-quarter.
A DUI checkpoint arrest does not mean the driver is guilty
The consequences of a DUI conviction can be harsh with lost driving privileges, fines and jail. In addition, a DUI on a person’s record can negatively impact the achievement of their personal and professional goals. Even if there was an arrest, there might have been issues with the testing procedure or the driver could have been suffering from an issue that made them appear to be under the influence. Before doing anything, it is wise to have experienced legal guidance when constructing a defense to the charge.