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Rick Shapiro
Rick Shapiro
Attorney • (800) 752-0042

Virginia Governor Signs New Drunk Driving Law

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A new DUI law signed this month by Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe will establish new procedures for drunk driving cases in the Commonwealth. 

The new law was passed after the US Supreme Court issued a new ruling last year that pointed out the differences between breath and blood tests during a drunk driving traffic stop. The USSC ruling stated that a blood draw is a much more invasive procedure than a breath test.

bus accident

The highest court ruling also encouraged police officers to get a search warrant when they draw blood to check for intoxication. The new law passed in Virginia provides more clarity for the police on when they should obtain a search warrant.

The new Virginia law will make it easier for the police to get search warrants in some cases, too. The law states that the office of the magistrate needes to give preference to DUI search warrants. This is so there is not a loss of evidence because the person’s blood dissipates in volume.

The Supreme Court ruling had invalidated some of Virginia’s DUI laws, and this new law has provided much needed clarity for police officers who find it necessary to draw blood to check the BAC of a suspected drunk driver.

Our View

Our drunk driving attorneys in Virginia have seen far too many families shattered due to the death of a loved one from the careless actions of drunk drivers. We are glad that the governor of Virginia signed an updated law that will make it easier for police to get a search warrant for a blood draw to check if a driver is intoxicated.

From 2003 to 2012, there were 2613 drunk driving deaths in Virginia. While the number of drunk driving deaths per 100,000 of population in Virginia is lower than the US overall, we as drunk driving attorneys want to see drunk driving completely eliminated. While that is a lofty goal, we hope that tougher laws will help to make it happen.

Our personal injury attorneys once handled a drunk driving case where the driver actually drove onto the sidewalk and seriously injured our pedestrian client. The innocent man suffered serious lower leg injuries that caused him substantial pain and suffering, as well as loss of work time. We were very pleased that we were able to settle that drunk driving case in Virginia for $100,000.

Perhaps with tougher DUI laws in Virginia that allow police to obtain search warrents easier for blood draws, we will have fewer drunk driving accidents. We can only hope.