Zero Tolerance Policy on Underage Drinking and Driving Lowers DUI in Henrico County VA

Increasing Arrests Lower DUI Rates in Henrico County
In 2006, Henrico County recorded 855 DUI convictions from arrests on routine patrols and anti-drinking initiatives. In 2012, there were 1,003 DUI arrests. The resulting 17.3% increase in DUI enforcement can be attributed to several factors:

• Officers receive extensive training (DUI detection, gaze nystagmus sobriety testing, DUI processing), especially when changes to DUI laws are instituted.

• Police management emphasizing proactive DUI enforcement.

• Legal concepts such as “triple jeopardy” reinforce that traffic stops by Henrico Police for impaired driving, speed, or seat belt use triggers automatic checks for all three violations.

• Implementation of the Hampton, VA DUI Patrol Car Video Program as a tool to assist arresting officers both during the arrest process and during prosecution of suspected impaired drivers at trial.

Focusing on Henrico County DUI and Young Driver Safety
In 2012, according to VDOT, four Virginia counties – Fairfax, Chesterfield, Prince William, and Henrico – had the highest number of deaths and severe accident-related injuries from impaired driving accidents. Combine this with earlier data from NHTSA from 2010, showing 20 percent of 16–19 year old drivers involved in fatal crashes had a positive BAC, and 66 percent of the 706 young people who died in “prom season” that year were involved in alcohol-related crashes, and it is clear we need to educate and protect our youngest drivers in Henrico County.

There is an increased focus on law enforcement vigilance on our roadways and in our courtrooms. As technology creeps into the courtroom, and video cameras record field sobriety testing, all drivers need to understand the long-term consequences.

While it appears that driver’s license suspensions combined with mandatory education, or treatment and supervision, appear to be the best approach, law enforcement struggles to strike a balance between traffic safety and personal liberty. If you or someone you know has been arrested for underage drinking and driving, it is critical you contact a criminal defense attorney right away. At Boone Beale, our legal team has years of experience in the Henrico courts successfully defending clients charged with DUI in Henrico County. We can help protect your rights. Contact us today.

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