A 29-year-old man was arrested on Nov. 26 after driving his car onto the grounds of the Virginia State Capitol in Richmond and then attempting to flee the scene on foot. He was allegedly under the influence of drugs and alcohol at the time the incident occurred.
According to media reports, the defendant sped through the main gate of the Capitol grounds at approximately 3 p.m. As he drove toward the Executive Mansion, an officer was forced to jump out of the way to avoid being struck. He continued driving until he reached the steps in front of the Capitol Building. He then exited his vehicle and ran up a hill toward Bank Street. The man was then quickly apprehended.
The defendant, who was not wearing a shirt or shoes, was arrested and charged with assault on a law enforcement officer, driving under the influence of drugs, driving with a revoked license, possession of drug paraphernalia and carrying an open container of alcohol. According to police, Gov. Ralph Northam and his wife had been at the Executive Mansion on the day of the incident. No one was injured. The Capitol Police said they would evaluate their security procedures to see if improvements could be made.
Defendants convicted of drunk driving charges could be sentenced to jail time and heavy fines. They could also lose their driving privileges. However, a defense attorney could review a case and develop a defense strategy to fight the charges. For example, in some cases, it may be possible to challenge the accuracy of any blood alcohol or field sobriety tests that were performed. In other cases, it may be possible to arrange a plea deal that reduces the charges.