On March 27 of this year, a former investigator for the Bedford County Sheriff’s Office was eyed traveling the wrong way down a highway in his police-issued vehicle. A witness alerted authorities by calling 911. The witness then followed the man for several miles, attempting to alert other drivers to his presence by flashing her lights.
When Virginia State Police caught up to the 30-year-old deputy, they said his speed was somewhere between 75 and 80 mph. The deputy had turned his vehicle around and attempted to exit the highway. Police pursued him, and he was detained after colliding with another police car. The man was charged with drunk driving and evading a police officer. Police say he refused to take a blood test.
In May, however, these charges were dropped to make way for more serious charges. On Monday, a grand jury indicted the man for driving the wrong way on a road while intoxicated. He has also been charged with evading police officers. The maximum penalty for eluding an officer is five years in prison.
After the sheriff’s office conducted its own investigation, the man was fired. There is no trial date scheduled as of now.
This case is a clear example of how seriously Virginia police take drunk driving. If they did not hesitate to arrest a fellow officer, it is likely that they will not hesitate to arrest others they suspect of drunk driving.
A drunk driving conviction can come with serious penalties. However, it is important for anyone facing DUI charges to understand that, under U.S. law, everyone is innocent until proven guilty.
Source: The News & Advance, “Former Bedford deputy indicted on DUI, eluding police charges,” Chris Dumond, 12 July 2011