Teenage Driver Injures Virginia Police Officer While Driving Recklessly
A teenage driver faces criminal charges for reckless driving after striking and injuring a law enforcement officer who was conducting a DUI checkpoint, according to an article by CBS affiliate WTKR.
This auto accident occurred in the morning of Tuesday, August 6th on History Land Highway. At that point, a Richmond County Sheriff’s deputy was stopped along the shoulder, supervising a DUI stop and subsequent vehicle towing.
The teenage driver failed to yield the right-of-way and move over to an adjacent lane. Without enough space to pass safely, the teenage driver smashed into the sheriff’s deputy and caused serious physical injury.
As a result of this accident, the sheriff’s deputy sustained a dislocated hip and several fractures to his foot. The deputy received transportation to a nearby hospital and immediate medical treatment. He remains hospitalized for the time being, as medical professionals continue to treat his injuries.
Although the Virginia State Police continues to investigate this car accident, the teenage driver already faces reckless driving charges for failing to yield to an emergency vehicle.
Failing to Yield to Emergency Vehicles
Under Code of Virginia Section 46.2-861.1, all drivers must yield the right-of-way to emergency vehicles on all state highways with multiple lanes. This section applies whenever a driver approaches a stationary emergency vehicle, such as a police car or ambulance.
When such a vehicle activates its flashing, blinking, or alternating lights, then all drivers must yield the right-of-way. Wherever possible, drivers are required to change lanes and provide adequate space for the stationary emergency vehicle.
That being said, there is an exception to Section 46.2-861.1. If it would be unsafe or unreasonable to change lanes — in light of existing highway conditions — then drivers are not necessarily required to move over. But drivers are still required to proceed carefully and cautiously, minding the safety and security of the stationary emergency vehicle.
Penalties for Failing to Yield to Emergency Vehicles
From a general standpoint, the penalties for reckless driving offenses appears under Code of Virginia Section 46.2-868. This offense is typically punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor in Virginia. A conviction normally results in a maximum sentence of 12 months in county jail and $2,500 in criminal fines.
From a more specific standpoint, Virginia law mandates additional penalties for reckless driving that involves a failure to yield to emergency vehicles. For example:
- If the offender caused any property damage, then the Virginia courts may require a one-year suspension of driving privileges; or
- If the offender caused physical injury or the death, then the Virginia courts may require a two-year suspension of driving privileges.
Do You Need Legal Help?
If have need legal help with criminal charges for reckless driving in Virginia, it can be extremely practical to reach out to a dependable criminal defense attorney. The Winchester reckless driving attorneys at Simms Showers LLP understand the nuances of reckless driving and can assist with mounting an effective defense against those and similar charges. If you need legal help with criminal defense, contact us today for a free initial consultation.