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Fairfax/Manassas Criminal & Personal Injury Blog

In Virginia, the laws regarding drunk driving charges apply to everyone, whether it's a person who is from a prominent family or a regular workaday person. The penalties for driving while intoxicated can be severe and lead to long-term problems. Regardless of the circumstances, it's important that a driver who is confronted with these charges knows how key a competent defense can be in combating these legal issues.

The son of the former governor of the state of Virginia was arrested near where the family keeps a vacation home. The 23-year-old was stopped by police and he declined a request to submit to a breath test. He was arrested and released. This is another in the series of legal problems the family faces as his parents - formerly the first family of the state - are facing sentencing for receiving loans and gifts while the governor was in office.

When people in the state are charged with drunk driving, it's not a simple matter of paying the fine and moving on, as is the case with many traffic offenses. There are multiple penalties linked to a conviction as well as other charges that are often connected to the act of driving drunk. There can be jail time, significant financial punishments and a license suspension. This can affect a person's life for an extended period.

Breath test refusal adds another wrench into the legal problems because it can lead to automatic license suspension.

While DWI is a serious act, drivers who are arrested for it might have been subject to an illegal stop by the police. It's possible that the breathalyzer machine was not calibrated or operated properly by the officer, making its results inaccurate.

The driver arrested in this case is a member of a well-known Virginia family that is having numerous legal problems. The young man's arrest only adds to those problems. Given the penalties for the drunk driving charges and breath test refusal, he needs to formulate a sound defense with the assistance of an attorney experienced in handling DWI cases.

Source:, "Former Gov. Bob McDonnell's Son Charged with DWI: Reports," Mary Ann Barton, Dec. 18, 2014

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