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Traffic court notes

Posted By Angie Schmitt On November 9, 2012 @ 10:31 am In Featured | No Comments

We attended the court session in Vienna on Monday, November 5 to hear the case against a motorist, John Thorpe,  who was alleged to have intentionally struck a cyclist. That case was once again postponed until January 7 because the cyclist was not present. Mr. Thorpe and three witnesses were there and they agreed to return.

Before that case was heard there were many, many cases involving motorist infractions. Only the most blatant offenders ever get to traffic court. Police don’t write speeding tickets unless motorists are going 10mph or more over the limit. For a DUI your blood alcohol level must be 0.08% or greater. For a 160 lb adult, that level is equivalent to drinking between 5-6 beers in 2 hours [1].

It was a little depressing to see so many motorists treated very lightly for speeding and being convicted of DUI. Several of the speeding tickets were changed to “Failure to pay full time and attention,” a Town of Vienna charge which is bacically a slap on the wrist that does not result in points on one’s drivers license.

One motorist was charged with speeding. He had +1 points on his license and the judge said he had a “good record” and he changed the charges to “Failure to pay full time and attention”. According to VA DMV [2], “For every full calendar year that you hold a valid Virginia license and have no violations or suspensions, you get one safe driving point. You can earn up to five of them and use them to offset your demerit points.” In my opinion, an adult with only +1 points does not have a good driving record.

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[1] equivalent to drinking between 5-6 beers in 2 hours: http://www.ou.edu/oupd/bac.htm

[2] According to VA DMV: http://www.dmv.org/va-virginia/point-system.php

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