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Virginia Drunk Driving (DUI) Fatalities: Still Impacting Lives

Virginia Drunk Driving (DUI) Fatalities: Still Impacting Lives

In 2004 lawmakers tightened Drunk Driving laws. Using a high profile DUI case they set out to make a difference and to reduce this occurrence. A bipartisan group drafted more than 70 bills seeking to stiffen penalties and enacted a near-zero-tolerance for repeat offenders.

Key provisions of the 2004 Virginia drunken driving laws that were driven by this effort were:

  • Repeat offenders faced mandatory minimum jail terms ranging from 10 days to six months, depending on the time between offenses. They also faced longer driving license suspensions.
  • Motorists caught driving on restricted, suspended or revoked licenses face penalties for having smaller amounts of alcohol in their systems.
  • An unreasonable refusal to submit to a breath test by a convicted DUI offender drew a criminal charge in addition to an administrative penalty.
  • The state established a new Trauma Center Fund, partly supported by $50 fines levied against many offenders.

Statistics show that DUI fatalities in Virginia have dropped by 21%, as a result of the measures that began in 2004 to lower the incidence of death caused by DUI.

Law enforcement officials and attorneys say strict new laws, especially against repeat offenders, and a cultural shift on how drunk driving is perceived have helped reduce the incidence of drunk driving.

For many years, the Virginia Commonwealth was weaker than other states in enforcing impaired-driving laws. The legal limit is now 0.08 percent down from .015 percent and stronger penalties have been imposed.

These statistics speak volumes, however the actual number of DUI related fatalities is still staggering.

* In 2013, in Virginia there were 8,047 Alcohol-Related Motor Vehicle crashes, 253 fatalities and 5,288 injuries. The average Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) was 0.1397.

A look at alcohol related crashes using several local counties – the numbers for 2013 look like this:

Alcohol Related Accidents Crashes Fatalities Injuries
* County
Arlington 232 1 117
Clarke 27 0 16
Fairfax 829 18 524
Fauquier 87 4 63
Loudoun 213 4 115
Prince William 337 4 223
Stafford 98 4 59
Total: 1.823 35 1,117

* Published by the Virginia Highway Safety Office

The Virginia Highway Office also states that in 2013:

  • 253 persons were killed in alcohol-related crashes, a 10.48 increase from 2012.
  • 5,288 persons were injured in alcohol-related crashes, a 9.78 percent decrease from 2012.
  • 27,333 persons were convicted of DUI, a 4.83 decrease from 2012.

The laws are getting tougher as the public’s opinions are being heard. Two years ago, Virginia made ignition interlock devices mandatory for first-time offenders. First time DUI offenders are faced with a misdemeanor that, in reality feels more like a felony. Employers are less tolerant of alcohol related incidences. Military and other public service careers can be derailed because of a DUI.

The Parrish Law Firm intoxicated driver injury attorney works with northern Virginia residents who have been injured by intoxicated drivers and who are looking for fair compensation. Contact us today for a free case consultation, or call us at 703-906-4229.

A representative of the Parrish Law Firm, PLLC researched and wrote this article with Mr. Parrish’s consent. If you have any questions regarding the legal implications of what you have just read, please send us your question by clicking here so we can have our attorney review it.

Virginia Beach Man, John Paul Kotara, Charged With DUI After Collision With Police Vehicle

A Virginia Beach resident, John Paul Kotara, 27, was charged with driving under the influence after he hit a police car Friday night, reports The Virginian Pilot.

The incident occurred at 10:43 on the eastbound side of Interstate 264, about a half-mile west of the Lynnhaven exit, according to police spokeswoman Grazia Moyers. An officer was conducting a traffic stop when a car hit the front bumper, then collided into a guardrail and overturned. The driver of the vehicle and the officer, who was hit with flying debris, were treated for their injuries at a local hospital.

The suspect was charged with driving under the influence and failing to move over for a stationary emergency vehicle. He is currently being held at the Virginia Beach Correctional Center.

Source:

Sandra Hofstadler Gets 12 Years For DUI, Maimed One Adult, Two Kids

UPDATE: Sandra Hofstadler has been sentenced to 12 years in prison after pleading guilty to DUI when she struck and seriously injured three pedestrians, all family members as they crossed the street, reports UPI.com.

Circuit Judge Les L. Lilley made the decision, giving Hofstadler the maximum under DUI law. She pleaded guilty to maiming under the influence, DUI second offense in five-10 years, and failing to stop at a school bus. Hofstadler also received an extra 10 days for reckless driving, fined $6,000 and had her license revoked permanently.

The accident occurred on January 19th, 2012, when Hofstadler, high on cocaine at the time, failed to stop at a school bus with its stop sign protruding and lights flashing, and collided with David Yancy Sr, his daughter, seven-year old Samyiah Yancy, his son, five-year-old David Yancy Jr., and his niece, seven-year-old Neyahni Boyd.

David Yancy Sr. eventually had a rod put in his leg, while his son underwent multiple surgeries for traumatic brain injury. Samyiah Yancy suffered minor injuries, while Boyd had her leg broken.

Before the accident, Hofstadler had been convicted of credit card larceny, possession of cocaine, driving while intoxicated, forgery, and fraud.

Original Post:

Virginia Beach, VA – June 4 – A local woman was indicted on three counts of DUI-maiming Monday after crashing her truck into a family in January.

According to official reports by WAVY.com, the incident occurred around 7:40 a.m. on January 19 when Sandra Hofstadler, 43, drove her pickup truck onto a front lawn and hit four people.

Police said the accident resulted when Hofstadler attempted to avoid a parked school bus that had its lights on and stop sign out.

Hofstadler ended up hitting a father and three young children who were walking down the driveway at the time.

In addition to the three charges of DUI-maiming, Hofstadler has also been charged with DUI 2nd offense and reckless driving.

She is scheduled for trial on all five charges on June 28 and can face up to 17 years in prison if convicted.

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a drunk driving accident that resulted from another person’s recklessness, please contact Parrish Law Firm, PLLC today. Our experienced accident attorneys will not stop until you receive the settlement that you deserve. Call now at 703-906-4229.

Lynchburg Woman Charged With DUI & Manslaughter| Virginia Accident Law

Lynchburg, VA – April 23 – A Bedford woman is facing serious charges for drunk driving and manslaughter after allegedly killing two men in a fatal car crash Saturday morning.

The collision took place at approximately 2:00 a.m. and involved two vehicles, a 1997 Ford Explorer and a 2005 Honda Civic, both of which were going at a high rate of speed at the time of impact, reports WDBJ7.com.

John Hawkins, 26, and his passenger, Garry Moore, also 26, proceeded along the 7200 block of Timberlake Road when Amy Phillips, 28, collided with their vehicle. Both men were pronounced dead at the scene.

Phillips is now being contained at the Blue Ridge Regional Jail without bond. Her scheduled court appearance has yet to be released.

Source:

  • http://articles.wdbj7.com/2012-04-23/timberlake-road_31380276

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