Readers of this Fairfax-based legal blog may know that the penalties residents can face for alleged drunk driving charges and accidents are heavy. The loss of one's driving privileges, jail time and fines can all befall a person who is convicted of a DUI charge. Now, though, there is a movement in the Commonwealth to increase the penalties for individuals who are convicted of drunk driving charges that involve accidents and injuries.
At present a person can be charged with a felony if they are allegedly drunk and cause an accident that inflicts significant permanent damage on a victim. A felony charge is not a mandate, but under a new bill proposal it would be. For example, a driver who is allegedly drunk and who causes a victim to suffer significant permanent damage would be charged with a Class 4 felony.
An accident that caused an alleged victim to suffer severe body injuries in a drunk driving accident would be charged with a Class 6 felony. As readers can see, this proposed piece of legislation would greatly impact the types of charges and therefore the penalties that a person may face if they are alleged to have been involved in a drunk driving motor vehicle accident.
Any drunk driving charge is serious and men and women who are confronted with these significant charges should take steps to protect themselves and their legal rights. They may wish to contact DUI and DWI defense attorneys to learn more about their options. While this proposed bill is not yet law, its existence demonstrates the serious consequences individuals can face if their convicted of drunk driving charges in Virginia.