A 22 year old man was arrested in Arlington, VA and charged with a DUI on a stolen golf cart.
Accomack County has been considering imposing stiff extra fees on anyone convicted of a DUI or reckless driving charge in the county.
A final decision on the $350 extra fee has been postponed for now, but it is still on the table, according to delmarvanow.com.
County officials are in favor of the extra fee for DUI charges and suspended license cases, but are split for reckless driving offenses. The county supervisor opposes the fee in reckless cases only, while the County Sheriff supports all the fees. The proposed fee to be used to offset expenses to police and rescue personnel, no doubt to cover budget shortfalls.
Virginia went down this road before with it’s statewide “abusive driver fees” for reckless driving. The fee was wildly unpopular and repealed a year later.
A judge in Richmond is under fire for allowing a reckless driving charge for a commercial bus driver to be dismissed after completing a driving school program. That bus driver is facing new charges for reckless driving after hitting and killing a pedestrian with her bus.
Under the law, if a person has a commercial driver’s license in Virginia, they are ineligible for a reckless driving offense dismissal after attended driving school, under a law passed in July 2008. The original reckless driving incident occurred in May of this year.
Though the defendant clearly checked off that she had a commercial driver’s license, the judge still allowed her to take a Second Chance Driving Improvement Clinic. After satisfying the terms of the driving class, on Sept 10th, the reckless driving charge was dismissed on Sept 30th.
The defense attorney quoted indicated that is it not uncommon for judges to miss laws that have been recently passed, especially when the facts of those laws come up infrequently.
If the reckless driving offense had stood, and she had not been allowed the opportunity for the dismissal, she likely would have lost her job as a driver for the GRTC Transit System. However, she also violated company policy by not notifying her supervisor of the reckless driving charge.
It is certainly possible that she would have been fired from her job if she had followed that procedure, and if the judge had refused to allow for the dismissal, she would have lost her driver’s license and not been driving.
Whenever there is a tragedy like this, people are always looking for someone to blame. It is impossible to say what would have happened in either of those cases, but it is clear that multiple administrative failures led to a circumstances where someone was killed.
Another step in the continuous surveillance mode that increases everyday across Virginia and the nation. Police in Roanoke, VA are now using license plate scanners as noted in this story about locating stolen vehicles.
How these license plate video scanners work is they literally scan and check the license plate of every car within range of the video camera, mounted on a police car. They work while the car is either stationary or moving, and can check thousands of plates per hour.
The plate numbers are cross checked with a computer in the police cruiser that has a frequently updated database of license plates, and their owners. If the owner of the car is known to have an outstanding warrant, or a suspended license according to the Virginia DMV database, the police officer is instantly alerted, and your car is pulled over and you are arrested.
This technology is cheaper and more widespread everyday. If you local Virginia police department isn’t using it yet, they likely will be soon. And many of these databases are nationwide, and linked together. So if you happen to have a warrant from 10 years ago in California for missing a court date, or skipping a court ordered payment, you are at risk of arrest at anytime, just for driving down the street.
Please contact us for help with any old criminal warrant, or if you’ve been caught driving after your license has been suspended. We may be able to help.