When a police officer pulls a driver over because he/she violated a traffic law or displayed signs of intoxication, it is important for them to comply with the officer’s commands to prevent from having the situation escalate into something more serious. When a driver fails to do so, not only might they be charged with the crime the officer has suspected them of committing, but they may be charged with additional offenses as well.
The more offenses a person is charged with, the more severe their penalties likely will be.
Here’s what happened to a Woodbridge, VA woman who resisted arrest after the officer who pulled her over determined she had been operating her vehicle under the influence.
It was August 29, 2019, at around 12:30 a.m. when a Prince William County police officer stopped Mabelyn D. Guevara for a traffic violation in the area of Minnieville and Smoketown roads [Source: Patch.com]. After pulling over Guervara, the officer determined that she was intoxicated and attempted to arrest her.
It was during this time that Guervara resisted the arrest and kicked the officer in the lower body. The two struggled briefly, which resulted in minor injuries, and Guevara was eventually detained. Because the woman resisted arrest and had allegedly been operating her vehicle while under the influence, she was charged with multiple offenses some of which included assault, battery on a law enforcement officer, driving while intoxicated (DWI), refusal, driving without a license, and resisting arrest.
The news source said that Guevara was held without bond.
What are the penalties for DUI and resisting arrest in Woodbridge, VA?
It is illegal for any driver in the State of Virginia to operate their vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of 0.8% or higher. Any person who violates the law shall be charged with DUI and is at risk of being faced with the following penalties:
- Mandatory, minimum $250 fine.
- Driver’s license revocation for one year.
- Install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle.
- “Report to an Alcohol Safety Action Program (ASAP) in your area for screening and probationary oversight to have your license reinstated.”
- If your BAC level was .15%, but not higher than 0.20% at the time of the arrest, you are looking at a mandatory, minimum five-day jail term in addition to all other penalties.
- If your BAC level was 0.20% or higher at the time of your arrest, you will be faced with a mandatory, minimum ten-day jail term along with the additional penalties the crime carries with it.
[Source: Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles].
Now, if you resist an arrest after an officer has accused you of driving drunk, you are also in violation of Virginia Code § 18.2-460. VA law states that “If any person without just cause knowingly obstructs a law enforcement officer in the performance of his duties as such or fails or refuses without just cause to cease such obstruction when requested to do so by such law enforcement officer, he is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.” A Class 1 misdemeanor carries the following penalties with it: confinement in jail for not more than twelve months and/or a fine of not more than $2,500 [Source: Virginia Code § 18.2-11].
If you’re pulled over in Woodbridge, VA and are accused of DUI, remember this.
As we mentioned above, it is extremely important for a person who has been pulled over and accused of driving drunk to obey officer commands. Once a person becomes resistant, it puts them at risk of being harmed by the officer who is prepared to take all necessary measures to ensure they are successful at detaining you not to mention you will be charged with additional crimes. On that same note, it is also important for you to understand that you do have rights during a DUI traffic stop. For instance, you can refuse to participate in a breath or blood test under most circumstances. However, if you do refuse a breath or blood test, “Virginia law requires the court to suspend your driver’s license for one year. “
Now, if you have been charged with DUI in Woodbridge, VA along with other criminal offenses such as resisting arrest, it is imperative that you retain an experienced Woodbridge, VA DUI lawyer who can help you fight your charges. USAttorneys.com works with some of the best DUI attorneys in Woodbridge and can connect you with one now.