Recently, a Prince George’s police officer was suspended after being s charged with DUI after crashing his vehicle near I495.  It appears that the officer was off duty at the time of the crash, and suffered pretty severe injuries.  At the scene of the accident, he refused the preliminary breath test.  Though, it is quite possible that his blood alcohol may be determined at a later date during the course of his treatment at the hospital.

This case presents a couple of points for those interested in Virginia DUI law.  First and foremost, it demonstrates that no one is immune from a DUI and no one is immune from serious accidents arising out of drinking and driving.  Simply put – be careful and be smart!

A second point would be the aggravating facts of this case.  Because it involved a very serious, it will inherently be treated as a more serious case than just a “standard DUI” where no accident occurred and the individual “simply had too man.”  Any defense attorney defending this case should be prepared for a prosecutor to be very aggressive with this case.

Another aggravating factor (as you can easily imagine), is the accused’s position of law enforcement.  Simply put, because of his position, the prosecutor will likely say – he should have known better.  Therefore, though the law doesn’t explicitly spell it out, his position puts him in stricter scrutiny than the average citizen.

The final point that I will make (at least as it pertains to Virginia law), accused’s are not required to incriminate themselves.  It sounds like the officer here refused the preliminary breath test at the scene (which is permitted) and likely limited his statements as to his alcohol consumption, the cause of the accident, and other statements that can be later used against him.  He likely did this because he “knows his rights.”

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to send me a message or give me a call. And you can check out the full article here:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/crime/prince-georges-cop-suspended-after-dui-charge/2013/10/26/2b3253c8-3e6d-11e3-b7ba-503fb5822c3e_story.html

 

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