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Can I be charged with DUI and reckless driving at the same time?

It is a common misconception that drivers in Virginia can't be charged with a DUI and reckless driving at the same time. While you can't be charged under the general reckless driving statute § 46.2-852, you can be charged with both offenses if your behavior falls under another section of the code.

Understanding Virginia's Reckless Driving and DUI Law

Virginia statute § 19.2-294.1 states, "Whenever any person is charged with a violation of § 18.2-266 or any similar ordinances of any county, city, or town and with reckless driving in violation of § 46.2-852 or any ordinance of any county, city or town incorporating § 46.2-852, growing out of the same act or acts and is convicted of one of these charges, the court shall dismiss the remaining charge."

Sometimes referred to as the general reckless driving statute, § 46.2-852 states, "Irrespective of the maximum speeds permitted by law, any person who drives a vehicle on any highway recklessly or at a speed or in a manner so as to endanger the life, limb, or property of any person shall be guilty of reckless driving."

Although you can't be convicted of both a DUI and reckless driving under § 46.2-852 if both charges are from the same incident, you can still receive a DUI and reckless driving conviction if your behavior falls under one of the following statutes:

  • § 46.2-853 Driving vehicle which is not under control; faulty brakes
  • § 46.2-854 Passing on or at the crest of a grade or on a curve
  • § 46.2-855 Driving with driver's view obstructed or control impaired
  • § 46.2-856 Passing two vehicles abreast
  • § 46.2-857 Driving two abreast in a single lane
  • § 46.2-858 Passing at a railroad grade crossing
  • § 46.2-859 Passing a stopped school bus
  • § 46.2-860 Failing to give proper signals
  • § 46.2-861 Driving too fast for highway and traffic conditions
  • § 46.2-862 Exceeding speed limit
  • § 46.2-863 Failure to yield right-of-way
  • § 46.2-864 Reckless driving on parking lots, etc.
  • § 46.2-865 Racing

Preparing the Strongest Possible Defense

If you're facing both a DUI and a reckless driving charge, it's vital that you contact an experienced attorney who can help you evaluate your legal options. T. Kevin Wilson is committed to helping Virginia drivers mount an aggressive defense against DUI and reckless driving charges. Call today to schedule a free, no-obligation case review.

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