Law Enforcement’s Attitude Toward DUI Charges in Prince William
Below, Prince William DUI lawyer Matthew Crowley discusses the seriousness of DUI charges in Prince William and how DUI checkpoints are used. If you have been charged for DUI call today and schedule a free consultation with an attorney.
Is DUI an Area of Focus For Law Enforcement Officers?
Yes. Law enforcement officers who are patrolling the roads every day come in contact with the consequences to the victims of DUI more often than the rest of us do, more often than the average citizen does. They see the damage that can be caused to property and sometimes to people’s lives.
It’s something I think they are very conscious of. It’s something that they are always on the lookout for and are looking for, particularly on nights and weekends.
Why Do You Think This is?
I think that it’s because they are trained to be very aware of DUI. I think that there is an emphasis within the prosecutor’s office and the law enforcement agency on prosecuting those crimes and apprehending people who are committing them.
And I also think that on a personal level, for most of the officers, that in the course of their career, they see the serious consequences that can stem from accidents that occur when there is DUI involved. It’s not unusual for them to take that a little bit more personally and to be very vigilant in enforcing those laws and identify people who are breaking them.
Do Prince William County Law Enforcement Officers Heavily Enforce DUI Laws?
Yes, they do. In any jurisdiction in Virginia, the head prosecutor is called the Commonwealth’s Attorney, and is an elected official. And of course, alcohol related crimes, and especially DUIs and DWIs are matters that are consistently of public concern.
For that reason, among others, the prosecutors, and then in turn the police, emphasize and heavily enforce DUI law in Prince William County.
Are DUI Checkpoints Common?
Yes. A DUI checkpoint is a roadside stop where police either stop every vehicle, or in some cases every other vehicle or very third vehicle at a particular location, for particular amount of time according to a plan that is prepared by a commanding officer and then carried out by other officers.
And of course, they’re checking whether the individual’s operating the motor vehicles are under the influence, those sometimes it is under the pretext of checking licenses or seatbelts. This is something that is fairly common in Prince William County, and a DUI checkpoint can be set up almost anywhere.
There are a number of places that are common in Prince William County to find a checkpoint. Woodbridge is a place that frequently sees DUI checkpoints. Old Bridge Road is a locale that sees them, as well as Dale Boulevard. Haymarket, where I-66 exits onto I-15, right on that exit ramp is a place where there are frequently DUI checkpoints.
As well, Rt. 29 as it goes through Gainesville, either going north up to Fairfax or south in the direction of Charlottesville, that’s an area that has DUI checkpoints frequently. And also we see these late at nights, on weekend nights, or other times when people are on their way home from restaurants or parties or other entertainment.