Virginia residents may have heard that the daughter of actor David Hasselhoff was taken into custody for drunk driving on May 13. According to authorities, she was driving on Highway 101 when her car came to a full stop at the Fallbrook off-ramp at about 4 a.m. When police arrived at the scene, she was passed out behind the wheel with her foot on the brake.
A 55-year-old Virginia elementary school teacher has been placed on administrative leave and faces a raft of charges including drunk driving, resisting arrest and four counts of assault due to an incident in Kingsport on the afternoon of April 28. Reports indicate that the woman turned herself in after being released from a local hospital. Police say that she was sedated and hospitalized after being taken into custody.
Virginia drivers who are convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol are required to place an ignition interlock device on their vehicles. However, this is not the case in every state. In some states, the device is only mandatory if a person's blood alcohol is above a certain level, if there is a second offense or at the judge's discretion. In the first study to look at all 50 states and the effect of ignition interlock devices on alcohol-related motor vehicle fatalities, researchers reported a 7 percent decrease in crashes and estimate around 1,250 lives have been saved since the first mandatory laws were passed in 1993.
Virginia residents might be at a greater risk of being involved in an accident with a driver who is under the influence of drugs than in the past. According to some reports from law enforcement and safety organizations, drugged driving is a growing threat. In 2011, a study found that college students were roughly equally likely to drive while under the influence of drugs as alcohol.
Virginians should be especially careful over St. Patrick's Day weekend this year. Since St. Patrick's Day falls on a Friday, experts expect there to be a surge in drunk driving cases as people head out to celebrate the holiday after work.
Football fans in Virginia and around the country might be familiar with Indianapolis Colts player David Parry. The nose tackle has become a consistent starter for the Colts after being selected by the team in the fifth round of the 2015 NFL Draft. However, the 24-year-old athlete is now facing charges of assault and driving under the influence in Arizona after a night out with friends allegedly ended on a violent note.
Football fans in Virginia and around the country may be familiar with the former Arizona Cardinal wide receiver Michael Floyd. The 27-year-old first-round draft pick caught only 37 passes during a disappointing 2016 campaign, and he faces an uncertain future after pleading guilty to a charge of extreme DUI on Feb. 16. Floyd will spend 96 days confined to his home after completing a 24 day jail sentence, and he also faces a league suspension that could dash his hopes of playing in 2017.
Virginia drivers may be interested to learn that the number of drunk driving fatalities in the District of Columbia area dropped approximately 15 percent between 2014 and 2015. This decrease followed drunk driving death increases that occurred in 2013 and 2014.
The law enforcement landscape regarding drunk driving is not fixed. Like any area of law, it can change. All it takes is a decision by a court or action by the Virginia legislature. Back in May of last year, we reported on how the U.S. Supreme Court would be looking at whether laws criminalizing the refusal to submit to breath and blood tests without a warrant are constitutional. This post offers an update for those who might not have heard the outcome.