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School principal arrested for drunk driving

Recently, police arrested an elementary school principal in York, Virginia, for allegedly driving under the influence of intoxicants and for a hit and run. The DUI charge stems from an incident that occurred when the woman struck a utility pole with a white SUV and then left the scene. Authorities subsequently arrested the woman, and prosecutors charged her with the misdemeanors of DUI and hit and run. As a result of the accident, she was removed as principal of the school and re-assigned to duties at the school board office. The woman's hearing on her case will be in February.

The state treats the offense of drunk driving very seriously. A defendant accused of DUI may have his or her license suspended or revoked-in addition to possible jail time or court-imposed fines. Defendants might also have to have an ignition interlock device placed on their car, which requires them to breathe into a straw in order for their car ignition to work. This greatly impedes their mobility and freedom.

Field sobriety tests, however, are not fail-safe. They can produce inaccurate results because of human error on the part of police or lab technicians, or because of improperly calibrated breathalyzer machines. In addition, the police or jail staff might deliberately tamper blood alcohol tests in order to get a positive result. The results of field sobriety, breathalyzer and blood alcohol tests, however, are subject to challenge in a court of law.

Anyone accused of drunk driving is entitled to a vigorous criminal defense. He or she has the right to challenge the accuracy of any field sobriety, breathalyzer or blood alcohol tests and the right to question any witnesses that the state calls. Defendants also have the right to challenge the constitutionality of the court's proceedings and of the state's charges. Anyone accused of a DUI has the ability and the right to challenge the charges until the end of all of the proceedings.

Source: vagazette.com, "York principal arrested on DUI charge," Amanda Kerr, Nov. 27, 2012

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