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Blood tests lead to felony charges against Virginia driver

Drivers who are arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs are required to provide a blood sample for testing by a law enforcement laboratory. Tests for excess blood alcohol content are often completed within a week or two, but testing for more complex chemicals such as methamphetamine or marijuana can take much longer. A resident of Goode, Virginia recently was required to wait over a month in jail before the tests on his blood alcohol content were completed. The tests results were revealed last week, and they resulted in serious drunk driving charges being made against the man.

On April 6, the man was driving his truck when he crossed over the double yellow centerline on Burks Hill Road one-half mile north of U.S. 460. He collided with a car driven by a 75-year-old woman who was taking food to her elderly parents in Monroe. The woman died almost instantly. When police arrived at the accident scene, the accused driver was disoriented and not making sense, according to the prosecutor. Police took blood samples from the driver of the truck, but results were not returned until June 26.

The blood samples allegedly showed high levels of methamphetamine and THC, the intoxicating chemical in marijuana. Based on the blood samples, police charged the man with vehicular manslaughter, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and driving with a suspended license. At his bail hearing last week, the defendant said that he had been convicted of five previous DUI violations but that he had not had any violations in the past nine years.

The defendant in this case is facing very serious criminal charges, made even more serious by his previous violations. Evaluating the evidence and working out a plea agreement in cases such as this can be a complex task, as is challenging the validity of blood testing in hopes of preventing it from being used against an individual during trial. An experienced criminal defense attorney may be helpful in achieving the best possible result.

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