Tag: DWI

VA Police Catch Speeders, Limit Traffic Fatalities

 Police Enforce Speeding and Reckless Driving in Virginia During the  Holiday

Virginia Speeding Ticket LawyersMotorists driving on Virginia’s highways over the Labor Day weekend may have noticed an increased police presence, as Virginia State troopers issued reckless driving and speeding tickets across the Commonwealth. Virginia State Police had 75 percent of its uniformed workforce patrolling the interstates over the holiday.

The law enforcement push was part of the Operation Combined Accident Reduction Effort (C.A.R.E.), an annual, state program intended to reduce car crashes and injuries caused by speeding, drunk driving and the failure of drivers to use seatbelts.

Virginia saw a sharp decrease in traffic fatalities over the weekend in comparison with the last year’s Labor Day weekend enforcement effort. Six people lost their lives in traffic accidents during the 2012 weekend across the state, including one fatality in Stafford County. During the same period in 2011, 16 people were killed in traffic accidents on Virginia’s roadways.

The four-day weekend saw Virginia State Police issue a number of citations and court summons throughout the Commonwealth. Troopers issued 8,187 speeding tickets and 2,459 reckless driving tickets. They arrested 112 people for drunk driving. Additionally, police responded to a total of 715 accidents.

Colonel W. Steven Flaherty, Virginia State Police Superintendent, was pleased with the show of force and the reduction in traffic-related fatalities over the holiday weekend: “We asked Virginians … to make safe, responsible driving a priority … We appreciate everyone who made an effort to share the road responsibly, buckle up, comply with speed limits, avoid distractions, and drive sober.”

Operation Combined Accident Reduction Effort is an annual Labor Day weekend law enforcement initiative aimed at curbing accidents caused by speeding and reckless driving in Virginia.

Weiland Upton is a leading firm of Virginia speeding ticket attorneys

Call (804) 355-8037 for a free consultation

Man Convicted of 12th DUI in Spotsylvania County

Pleads Guilty to Felony DWI in Spotsylvania, VA

VA DUI Spotsylvania
David Maron Apraham

A man pleaded guilty yesterday in Spotsylvania County, Virginia to his 12th DUI offense.

David Maron Apraham entered his guilty plea in the Spotsylvania Circuit Court for felony driving under the influence, driving on a suspended license and refusal to take a breathalyzer test. As part of a plea agreement, the Commonwealth’s Attorney dropped a felony charge of eluding a police officer.

Apraham will be sentenced on November 6, 2012. He faces a maximum of seven years in prison for the offense.

According to the plea agreement, Mr. Apraham was first convicted of drunk driving in Mississippi in 1990. He has been convicted of DUI in Mississippi six times as well as three times in Alabama. He was also convicted twice in Virginia: once in Williamsburg in 2008 and again in Colonial Heights in February 2012. Furthermore, he is wanted in the states of Alaska, Mississippi, North Carolina and Washington for DUI-related crimes.

The felony incident occurred in November 2011 when a Spotsylvania County deputy saw Apraham stumbling around a BMW dealership late at night. Apraham got into a pickup truck and drove off. The deputy saw the pickup truck swerve over the double-yellow line three times. When the officer turned on his emergency lights and siren, Apraham proceeded to speed up before turning into a parking lot.

The suspect was handcuffed after he fell while walking towards the officer. Apraham admitted having five beers some five hours early, but he smelled strongly of alcohol. He refused to take a breathalyzer test.

Apraham is being held without bond in the Rappahannock Regional Jail. He will be sentenced on November 6, 2012 for felony DUI in Spotsylvania, VA.

Weiland Upton is a leading firm of Virginia DUI Lawyers

Call 804.355.8037 for a free consultation

Virginia DUI Lawyer Has Charges Reduced for Client

THE RESULTS DO NOT GUARANTEE OR PREDICT A SIMILAR RESULT IN ANY FUTURE CASE UNDERTAKEN BY THE LAWYER. THE RESULTS DEPEND ON A VARIETY OF FACTORS UNIQUE TO EACH CASE.

Virginia Drunk Driving Charges Reduced

A lawyer at the Law Firm of Weiland Upton recently defended two clients in a Virginia courtroom charged with driving under the influence. The attorney attained successful results in both DUI cases.

One client was charged with a second offense DUI and refusal to take a breathalyzer test. If convicted of both charges, our client would have suffered severe consequences.

The combination of both the refusal charge and the second offense DUI would have resulted in the following:

  •  A mandatory-minimum sentence of twenty (20) days in jail
  •  License suspension for four (4) years
  •  Inability to obtain a restricted license for the two years of his suspension
  • Ignition interlock on all vehicles he owned

In his discussions with the Commonwealth Attorney, the attorney at Weiland Upton was successful in convincing the prosecutor that there may have been a legal issue with the initial stop of the client by the police officer. The prosecutor agreed to dismiss the refusal charge and reduce the charge of driving under the influence from a second offense to a first offense DUI. As such, the defendant did not receive any active jail time, was immediately given a restricted license and did not have to install ignition interlock in his vehicle.

The other client was charged with a first offense DUI. Due to mitigating circumstances, the attorney was able to negotiate a reduction from driving while under the influence of alcohol to reckless driving. Our client avoided a mandatory one year suspension of his license and did not have to enroll in the in the Virginia Alcohol Action Safety Program required in a DUI conviction.

Weiland Upton has years of experience providing quality legal representation in Virginia traffic cases. Our office specializes in traffic law, and we are prepared to attain the best possible result in your Virginia DUI case.

Weiland Upton is a leading firm of VA DUI Attorneys

Call (804) 355-8037 for a free consultation

Virginia Requires Ignition Interlock for DUI Convictions

VA Drunk Drivers Must Install Ignition Interlock Device

Virginia DUI VA DWI
The driver must blow into the ignition interlock device before the vehicle will start.

Beginning July 1, 2012, any person convicted of DUI in Virginia must have an ignition interlock device installed in their vehicle in order to be eligible for a restricted driver’s license. Prior to recent changes in the law, an ignition interlock device was only required for convicted, first-time drunk driving offenders with a blood alcohol content of 0.15 percent or higher and for all second and subsequent offenders. The legal driving limit is 0.08.

An ignition interlock system is similar to a breathalyzer but it is installed in a motor vehicle. The person operating the motor vehicle must blow into the device prior to starting it. If the interlock system detects alcohol content above a 0.02, the device will prevent the motor vehicle from starting. The device then asks for a reading every 20 to 30 minutes while the car is being driven in what is known as the “rolling test.” This is to ensure that the driver has not started drinking after turning on the vehicle. If a person fails the “rolling test,” the vehicle’s horn and lights will activate until the driver shuts off the car. Violations are reported to the driver’s VASAP Case Manager when the device is calibrated every month.

In Virginia, a person convicted of drunk driving can choose from four state-approved companies to install the ignition interlock device. These four companies have locations all across the Commonwealth. At the moment, none of them are charging an installation fee, but all four charge approximately $60 every month to monitor the system. By law, these companies are allowed to charge a maximum of $80 a month in monitoring fees.

Bart Chucker, a former partner of the firm, recently estimated in a Richmond-Times Dispatch article that more than 15,000 first-time DUI offenders will be affected by the ignition interlock system by the end of the year. According to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, 28,162 people were convicted of DUI in the state in 2011.

Persons convicted of a first offense DUI must have an interlock device installed in any motor vehicle driven as a condition of receiving a restricted license. This requirement is limited to motor vehicles driven by that person. A court may allow that person to drive a motor vehicle without an ignition interlock device if that person has to drive a vehicle during work hours as a condition of their employment. This limited exception does not apply if the person has an ownership interest in the business.

The ignition interlock requirements differ for persons convicted of second offense DUI. Persons convicted of second offense DUI must have an ignition interlock device installed in every motor vehicle owned or registered to that person. As a result, it may be wise for that person to own one motor vehicle at the time of their conviction. This will save that person the expense of installing the ignition interlock device on multiple vehicles.

Those convicted of driving under the influence will now be paying more money out of pocket as a result of the new ignition interlock requirement, making it more important than ever to seek quality legal representation if you’ve been charged with driving under the influence in Virginia.

Weiland Upton is a leading firm of Virginia DUI attorneys

Call (804) 355-8037 for a free consultation

Virginia DUI and Reckless Driving: License Suspension

Drivers Risk a Suspended License for DWI or Reckless Driving in VA

Virginia judges are authorized to suspend a person’s driving privileges within the state for convictions of reckless driving by speed, reckless driving resulting from an accident, and driving under the influence. Any license suspension imposed for reckless driving is left to the discretion of the court and may be as long as six months. Out-of-state drivers convicted of DUI in Virginia face a mandatory one year suspension of license. Such suspensions only affect a person’s ability to drive in Virginia. A Virginia judge cannot suspend an out-of-state driver’s license to drive in any other state. As a result, a driver with a Pennsylvania license convicted of a DUI in Virginia can operate a car in any state, except Virginia. However, the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles may communicate the suspension to Pennsylvania, at which point the appropriate government entity in Pennsylvania can choose to suspend that person’s driver’s license.

Virginia judges are barred by law from seizing an out-of-state driver’s license after suspending that person’s privilege to drive in Virginia. The applicable part of Virginia Code §46.2-398 states:

For any revocation or suspension of a privilege to drive in Virginia of a person who does not have a Virginia driver’s license but who does have a valid driver’s license from another jurisdiction, the court shall not order the physical surrender of such license.

This prevents Virginia courts from physically taking a person’s out-of-state driver’s license once the court suspends or revokes that person’s driving privileges in Virginia. So, the court cannot take a driver’s North Carolina license after convicting that person of reckless driving by speed. The court may only suspend that person’s ability to drive in Virginia. The person can drive in North Carolina or any other state up until their North Carolina driver’s license is suspended by the appropriate government entity in North Carolina.

Courts may issue out-of-state motorists restricted driving privileges in Virginia. This typically happens when a person possesses a driver’s license from a bordering state—Maryland, North Carolina, Tennessee, or West Virginia—and works in Virginia. For instance, a Virginia judge is able to grant restricted driving privileges to a person convicted of DUI in Virginia who is licensed in Maryland and commutes to Caroline County, VA. Under this scenario, the person would be permitted to drive from Maryland to their place of employment in Caroline County. They may also be allowed to drive to and from school or be granted a variety of other restricted driving privileges as deemed worthy by the court.

A reckless driving or DUI conviction in Virginia can change your entire livelihood, especially your ability to travel freely to work, school, or to the doctor. And driving on a suspended license will only compound your legal woes down the line. Do not risk having your driving privileges suspended in a Virginia courtroom. Contact an experienced attorney if you’ve been charged with a DUI or reckless driving in Virginia.

Weiland Upton is a leading firm of Virginia DWI and Reckless Driving Lawyers

Call (804) 355-8037 for a free consultation

Speeding Ticket and DUI Checkpoints in Chesterfield, VA

Virginia Police Conducting Traffic Enforcement Campaign

DUI lawyers Chesterfield, VirginiaPolice are out in force this week in Chesterfield County, Virginia, issuing speeding tickets and catching drunk drivers.

The holiday weekend sees thousands of motorists pass through Chesterfield County’s roadways, especially through Interstate 95 and Route 288. Fourth of July celebrations also include alcohol and may increase the potential for drunk drivers on the streets.

In an effort to combat traffic violators, the Chesterfield County Police Department is participating in the Checkpoint Strikeforce campaign. The enforcement campaign, which kicked off Tuesday night, will take place through the Fourth of July holiday and into the weekend. Motorists will see police checkpoints set up in various locations throughout the county. Police will be stopping motorists suspected of driving under the influence. County police are also targeting drivers who are speeding, running red lights and caught not wearing a seat-belt.

If you come across a police checkpoint in Chesterfield this week, slow down and obey the officer. While you may be worried about receiving a DUI charge, don’t make matters worse by eluding police or receiving other related charges. Virginia police are committed to keeping the roads and highways safe for everyone this week.

If you happen to receive a summons for court, on a traffic related charge, call our law firm. We are committed to assisting you with your Virginia speeding ticket or DUI.

Weiland Upton is a leading firm of Virginia Speeding Ticket and DWI Attorneys

Call (804) 355-8037 for a free consultation

 

Deadly DUI in Hanover County, Virginia

Man Charged in Deadly Hanover, Virginia DUI

Hanover County, Virginia DUI
The wreckage of Lawrence’s SAAB following the DUI crash

Police in Hanover County, Virginia have charged a man with DUI. Fifty-six-year old Richard E. Lawrence, Jr. was arrested in connection with a deadly accident occurring in Mechanicsville on Saturday night.

The accident occurred shortly before 9 PM. Lawrence was driving a 1999 Saab on Pole Green Road in Hanover County, VA when his vehicle crossed the center line, colliding head on with a 2002 Chevrolet Blazer in the opposite lane. The Chevy Blazer was occupied by a woman and three children, ages two, six and seven.

When emergency crews responded to the accident, the Saab was on fire. The victims were rushed to the hospital. A female victim in Lawrence’s vehicle was pronounced dead at VCU Medical Center in Richmond, VA. Her name has not been released. Lawrence remains at VCU Medical Center. The remaining four victims who occupied the other vehicle were treated at VCU Medical Center and released. Police say the surviving victims are recovering well.

According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Hanover County Police are continuing their investigation and speaking with witnesses. A police spokesman has said that additional charges against Lawrence are being evaluated in conjunction with the Hanover Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office.

Richard E. Lawrence, Jr. is charged with DUI in Hanover County, Virginia.

Weiland Upton is a leading firm of Virginia DUI Lawyers

Call (804) 355-8037 for a free consultation