Virginia DUI: I Saw Him Speeding There

Can you be convicted of speeding on the basis of an officer’s estimation of your speed?

In Lewis v. Commonwealth of Virginia, Record No. 1195-12-1 (unpublished), an officer was running his radar gun from his moving police cruiser.  He clocked a driver going 56 mph in a 35 mph zone going the opposite direction.  He turned around, flashed his lights, and tracked down the driver who weaved ever so slightly within his driving lane but otherwise was not driving erratically.  The driver looked drunk, smelled of alcohol, admitted to having one beer and one shot, and failed five field sobriety tests.  The officer arrested him for speeding and driving under the influence of alcohol. Continue reading

Virginia Reckless Driving: See Some Evil, Hear Very Little Evil, Prove No Evil

An Officer arrives at the scene of an accident.  He sees that one car is stuck in the median.  He sees limited damage to the car.  He notices that it had been raining that day.  He asks the driver what happened.  The driver says that he “hit a patch of water and hydroplaned into the median.”  The officer asks him whether he had been drinking.  The driver says that he “had a few beers.”  The driver says nothing else.  The officer charges the driver with the crime of reckless driving.  The driver does not testify at all at trial per his privilege against self-incrimination.  So is this fact pattern sufficient to find the driver guilty of reckless driving? Continue reading