Drunk driving penalties in Virginia can be serious but when an alleged DUI results in a person's death, the consequences can be even more severe. A 30-year-old Maryland man is finding that out firsthand after pleading guilty in regard to a car crash in May 2017 that resulted in the death of a friend, a 36-year-old man from Shepherdstown, West Virginia.
Anyone in Virginia who has ever been arrested for a crime knows how important it is to find ways to move forward and rebuild their lives in a positive way after such an experience. Having a criminal record eliminated, or expunged as it is called, is one thing that can help to facilitate this. The Center for American Progress has initiated a campaign called Clean Slate designed to provide for a better expungement process than many people currently experience.
Anyone in Virginia who is stopped by an officer while driving and then suspected of being impaired by alcohol may be asked to perform some tests at the location where they have been stopped. These are commonly referred to as field sobriety tests due to the location at which they are administered and because they are designed to get some assessment of a person's sobriety or impairment.
Throughout your life, you have likely heard how registering a blood-alcohol content reading greater than .08 on a roadside sobriety test in Roanoke automatically indicates that you are guilty of driving under the influence. Why, then, will law enforcement officials often conduct a more thorough chemical test later on? Could it be because the results of a handheld breath measurement are not totally reliable? Indeed, many states have determined that the results of such tests are not admissible in DUI cases due to the large margin of error associated with such equipment.
Any test, no matter how carefully developed or well administered, can occasionally have inaccurate or inconclusive results. Standardized testing systems simply do not work well for all people. This is true of standardized testing in schools, as well as medical and chemical testing of the human body.
People in Virginia who have been arrested for and convicted of a criminal offense commonly have their fingerprints taken at some point. This often happens when a person is booked into a prison or jail or when they begin a probation sentence. Most people who have had their fingerprints taken assume that the records will be in the state criminal justice system and that these prints are part of the information reviewed during a background search.