Driving On Wrong Side Of Road Results In More Serious Charges For Manassas Woman

Posted on July 1st, 2012, by Benjamin Griffitts in Criminal Defense. Comments Off on Driving On Wrong Side Of Road Results In More Serious Charges For Manassas Woman

Manassas City police arrested a twenty-one year old female early on the morning of June 24 for DWI/DUI, possession of marijuana and texting while driving. According to an article by InsideNOVA.com, Courtney Michelle Blaydes was driving down the wrong side of Godwin Drive when she was observed by a Manassas police officer. After being stopped, Blaydes allegedly informed the officer that she had been texting. A police search of the vehicle then apparently resulted in the discovery of a smoking device and two bags possibly containing marijuana.

Texting while driving is a secondary offense, meaning it can only be charged after probable cause is established for a primary offense; in this instance, driving on the wrong side of the road would be the primary offense that would create the probable cause to initiate a traffic stop. If the driver did admit to texting, then a ticket could be issued in conjunction with the primary offense. However, the police officer seemingly determined that there was reasonable suspicion for an investigation into driving under the influence. The police officer likely placed the driver under arrest and performed a search incident to the arrest, which uncovered the possible marijuana and smoking device.

While driving on the wrong side of the road was the detail that attracted local newspaper coverage of this case, the basic fact pattern of a traffic stop for an infraction, suspicion of alcohol use, and then discovery of possible drugs during a search after arrest, is quite common. And while the topic of criminal charges for texting while driving has been controversial, the DWI/DUI and possession of marijuana charges resulting from this traffic stop have potentially serious consequences.

For information on one of the newest consequences of a conviction for DUI or DWI, read my previous blog posting, Changes To Ignition Interlock Device Law In Virginia – July 2012.

The Manassas criminal lawyers at Livesay & Myers, P.C. represent clients throughout Northern Virginia on traffic and drug charges, including DUI, DWI and charges for possession of marijuana and other controlled substances. If you or a loved one have been charged with a crime, contact us to schedule your free consultation with an experienced criminal lawyer today.

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Ben Griffitts is a senior associate attorney at Livesay & Myers. An attorney since 2004, he has years of experience defending clients on criminal charges in Northern Virginia—from serious felonies, violent crimes, and drug charges to traffic offenses and misdemeanors. As an experienced personal injury attorney, he has also handled every type of automobile accident case in Virginia.

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