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Shapiro & Appleton

Should a Drunk Driver Be Able to Get Out of a DUI If They Know an Officer Personally?

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How many times have you seen a driver almost cause an accident and said, “Where are the cops when you need them?”  A recent near accident in Richmond, VA would have been one of those times.  The only difference, the cops were there.  A seemingly drunk woman nearly ran into police cruisers, right in front of the cops after speeding and running a stop sign.  For reasons unknown she was released to her father at the scene instead of being given a DUI.  From watching the video below it seems that her father may have been a police officer as well. 

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Most people would like to have an officer use his discretion and give us a warning instead of an infraction for minor traffic violations.  However in an incident involving a drunk driver, safety should take precedent over personal connection. This sends a bad signal to the intoxicated driver and to other drivers who see someone basically get off the hook because their father knows the officer.

In 2012 10,322 people were killed and approximately 345,000 were injured by drunk drivers. Each crash, each death, each injury impacts not only the person in the crash, but family, friends, classmates, coworkers and more.  This is why our Virginia (VA) personal injury law firm represents only victims injured by drunk driving. Personal injury victims or the surviving family members of victims killed in car or truck accidents caused by drunk drivers can rely on our Virginia-based personal injury and wrongful death attorneys.   

If you are caught drunk driving and injure someone in the process you may be liable for punitive damages as well.  One such case we handled involved a drunk driver charged with her second DUI offense.  She hit a car in which a 9-year-old child was a passenger. The child's mother was the driver of the struck car. After the collision, the woman at fault refused a blood alcohol test. Under Virginia (VA) law, refusal to submit to a sobriety test following a traffic accident made her insurance company responsible for any punitive damages awarded. Punitive damages are monies paid to the victim over and above the amount necessary to compensate a plaintiff for medical bills and injuries. Punitive damages are intended to punish the wrongdoer for his or her wilful and reckless conduct.

CT

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