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Virginia’s Crackdown on DUI Drivers Leads to Higher Rating from Campaigners

I pride myself in helping clients through their toughest times.- Bill O’Mara

Attorney at Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers

Virginia’s Crackdown on DUI Drivers Leads to Higher Rating from Campaigners

Virginia and West Virginia both recorded high scores in a Mothers Against Drunk Driving report that assesses the strength of state laws intended to stop drunk drivers.

Virginia was given 3.5 stars, but West Virginia came in at 4.5 out of five stars, making it tied for first place over DUI enforcement.

The rankings took into account laws related to protecting children in a vehicle with a drunk driver, legislation related to the refusal to take a breath test, the revocation of driving licenses, and other factors.

In a report released just before the holiday season when DUIs typically spike, MADD said deaths caused by drunk drivers have fallen by 24 percent in 10 years.

Virginia receives high marks for DUI enforcement

However, there is no room for complacency. Our Virginia drunk driving accident lawyers still see too many fatalities caused by intoxicated motorists on the highways of the Commonwealth.

Virginia scored highly for its regular DUI police enforcement checkpoints and its ignition interlock law for previous DUI offenders. North Carolina was awarded three stars.

In 2012, a law was brought in in Virginia that made an ignition interlock device mandatory for at least six months for any DUI or DWI conviction regardless of the person’s blood/alcohol content (BAC).

Virginia State Police said MADD kept the pressure up for changes.

“ Their diligence and leadership has put pressure where it needed to be," said Sergeant Brian Breeden, with Virginia State Police.

Virginia State Police's "Click It or Ticket" campaign is again underway this month. It’s a high visibility initiative that combines enforcement of seat belt and child safety laws with outreach and education.

Over the past decade, many states have introduced tougher DUI laws. However, drunk driving still claims more than 10,000 lives a year on America’s roads.

The worse performing states in the survey were Michigan and Montana that recorded a DUI safety rating of just 0.5 stars.

If you have been injured or lost a loved one due to the actions of a drunk driver in Virginia, you have rights. As well as any criminal charges that are brought against the driver, you may be able to sue the driver’s insurance policy. Virginia makes additional (punitive) damages available to punish drunk drivers in certain instances. Call our experienced team at Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers at (757) 455-0077.

Griff O'Hanlon

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John Cooper

John Cooper is a veteran of personal injury law practice in Virginia. A native Virginian, he was raised in Norfolk and Virginia Beach. He has more than 20 years of experience handling personal injury cases and recently handled the largest auto accident settlement in 2010, according to VA Lawyers Weekly. The award provided $3.5 million to a child whose young father died when the vehicle he was a passenger in was rear-ended by a careless truck driver.

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Jim Hurley

Jim Hurley has been practicing law throughout Virginia for more than two-and-a-half decades. During his career, he has tried more than 100 jury trials — a staggering number — and handled hundreds more that were settled out of court. He is guided by the principle that the client is in charge of his or her case and should be kept fully aware of the litigation process. Jim has been awarded an AV Rating by Martindale-Hubbell, the highest rating given, for his practice of law. He was named in Virginia Super Lawyers in 2014, 2015, 2016.

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Bill O’mara

Bill O’Mara started his legal career in 2008, moving back to his home town of Chesapeake, VA. He has practiced in the field of plaintiffs’ personal injury and other litigation. He has gained extensive court room and trial experience, including contested trials before judges and juries across Hampton Roads. In 2014, Mr. O’Mara joined Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers as an associate attorney. He became a partner in 2017.

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