With some of the strictest laws in the U.S. against drunk driving, it would seem that anyone would think twice before risking a Virginia DUI charge. But, drinking alcohol does not always provide the best frame of mine from which to judge the outcome of our actions, and tragically, those actions often prove to be fatal. Many people consider a drunk driver a risk to other drivers on the road, but, what about the risk posed to a person who is simply trying to walk home, to a local store or to a neighbor’s house? Pedestrian fatalities, nationwide, have already risen 6% since 2012, and of those, 48% had some sort of involvement with alcohol (either the pedestrian or the driver).
In August, 2014, a man crossing the street was killed by a drunk driver in Northern Virginia. The street in question, at the time of night the accident occurred, is not overly busy; it is in a residential area with a volunteer fire station, elementary schools and neighborhood bike paths. As a “bedroom community” for the D.C. region, the biggest problem in the area of this fatal Virginia DUI accident seems to be commuter traffic, but the sirens that night told a different, tragic story that could have been prevented.
A Virginia DUI carries penalties such as a six-month minimum ignition interlock installation, possible jail time, loss of driving privileges, fines, alcohol education programs and more. But, for the families and friends of a DUI victim, these penalties cannot make up for the loss of a loved one. While no further information has been relayed regarding the pending Virginia DUI charge, the family and friends of the victim are faced with the fact that a stranger’s choice to get behind the wheel and drive under the influence of alcohol has tragically affected their lives forever.