Law Offices of Christie A. Leary P.C.

Fairfax/Manassas Criminal & Personal Injury Blog

Being arrested and facing conviction on charges of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs in Fairfax and throughout Virginia can lead to harsh penalties. Simply being stopped on suspicion of drunk driving does not automatically mean that the person is instantly guilty. Law enforcement is capable of making mistakes in various aspects of investigating and pursuing a DUI charge. Therefore, this must be fully understood by those stopped and arrested for a DUI.

Knowing how law enforcement goes about its investigations can be a key in formulating a defense. In Fairfax, there is a new police unit whose mandate is to investigate and deal with drivers who are operating under the influence. This new program has just started and consists of eight officers plus a supervisor. Their main objective is to stop drivers who are under the influence. These officers are said to be highly experienced with an average of 241 arrests for this violation over the previous seven years. As part of this program, they are getting more training for recognizing when a driver is under the influence.

Across the area, these officers will be working in rotations from the evening to the early morning hours. Statistics will be used to determine where they should focus their patrols. Also, requests on the part of citizens and station commanders will be taken into account when deciding where they will base their efforts. A federal grant is paying for this increase in investigating and arresting drivers on a DUI charge. The aforementioned grant is also being used for equipment that is part of the investigatory process of a DUI, and this must be kept in mind when a person is stopped and arrested.

For equipment to be effective, it must be used properly and be in correct working order. If either or both of these factors are not adhered to, then the information yielded could be invalid. For example, if the equipment for a breath test is inaccurate or used incorrectly, it could result in a person being deemed to be above the legal limit for alcohol in the system when he or she was not.

Those who are placed under arrest on a DUI charge or multiple offenses related to DUI must be cognizant of law enforcement patrols and how a strong defense can be crafted. A lawyer who is experienced in defending clients on charges of driving while intoxicated can be of assistance. Taking the step to initiate a defense could help an accused driver reduce or even dismiss the charged against them.

Source: Fairfax News, "Fairfax County Police Target Drunk Drivers," Ed Tobias, Dec. 3, 2016

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