Traffic DUI Law Prince William Virginia Attorneys Habitual Offender Violation Code 18.2-266
Black v. Commonwealth
Following a jury trial, the Circuit Court of Prince William (Virginia) convicted defendant of driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) (second or subsequent offense), in violation of Va. Code Ann. §§ 18.2-266 and 18.2-270(B), and operating a vehicle as an habitual offender, in violation of Va. Code Ann. § 46.2-357. Defendant appealed.
If you are facing a traffic case in Prince William, Virginia, contact a SRIS Law Group lawyer for help. You can reach us at 888-437-7747
The Virginia Court made the following holding:
- The Virginia statute on driving under the influence (DUI), Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-266, makes it unlawful for any person to drive or operate a vehicle while intoxicated. The Virginia habitual offender statute, Va. Code Ann. § 46.2-357(A), makes it unlawful for any person determined or adjudicated an habitual offender to drive any motor vehicle while his license remains revoked. Va. Code Ann. § 46.2-100 defines the terms “operator” and “driver” to include every person who drives or is in actual physical control of a vehicle. This statutory definition applies to the habitual offender statute, and while it does not control Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-266, it serves as a valuable interpretative guide to the DUI statute.
- The mischief addressed by the Virginia statute on driving under the influence (DUI), Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-266, is the risk of harm posed by vehicles under the control of intoxicated individuals. Whether that risk comes from an inebriated passenger who forcibly takes control of the steering wheel or from a drunk driver should not matter. The brevity of actual control likewise does not place the risk of harm outside the intended scope of the statute. A passenger steering a vehicle, without controlling the accelerator or brakes, may be deemed a driver under the DUI statute. The habitual offender statute, Va. Code Ann. § 46.2-357(A), should be viewed no differently. There too, the mischief addressed by that statute does not exclude, as a matter of law, brief exercises of physical control over a vehicle’s operation. For similar policy reasons, the legislature abrogated the common law doctrine of necessity as a defense to an habitual offender charge.
The SRIS Law Group Virginia lawyers will do their best to help you with your DUI. Contact a Virginia lawyer from our firm to discuss your DUI.
A Virginia lawyer from our firm will talk with you about your DUI in Virginia and advise you about your options. You can count on a lawyer from our firm to try their best to help you obtain the best result possible based on the facts of your case.
We have client meeting locations in Fairfax County, Loudoun, Prince William, Richmond, Virginia Beach, Fredericksburg & Lynchburg.
Prince William Court House Detail:
Prince William Circuit Court
9311 Lee Avenue,
Manassas, VA 20110.
Prince William General District Court
9311 Lee Avenue,
Manassas, VA 20110-5586.
Prince William Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court
9311 Lee Avenue,
Manassas, VA 20110-5555.
Article written by A Sris
These summaries are provided by the SRIS Law Group. They represent the firm’s unofficial views of the Justices’ opinions. The original opinions should be consulted for their authoritative content.