DAN L. HARRIS v. CITY OF VIRGINIA BEACH
COURT OF APPEALS OF VIRGINIA
November 15, 1994, Decided
On May 6, 1992, at around one o’clock in the afternoon the defendant was operating a motor vehicle on Route 44 in the City of Virginia Beach. As a result of encountering construction activity in the roadway the defendant’s vehicle was substantially damaged, and he wanted to get off the expressway as soon as possible. After exiting the highway within three to five minutes within a mile and a half, two miles distance a slight collision occurred between defendant’s vehicle and another automobile. Virginia Beach Police Officer found defendant seated in his vehicle with the engine running and he secured a warrant charging defendant with DUI. Meanwhile, a Virginia State Trooper also arrived at the scene incidental to his investigation of defendant’s earlier collision with the highway barrier. In response to his inquiries, defendant admitted his involvement in the previous accident and was issued a related summons for Reckless Driving. On August 27, 1992, defendant was convicted in the Virginia Beach General District Court of the reckless driving offense. The following day, he was convicted in the same court on the DUI warrant. Defendant appealed the DUI conviction to the trial court and, again, was found guilty, despite his plea in bar pursuant to Code 19.2-294.1. This appeal followed.
Whether the defendant can be charged and convicted of both 19.2-294.1 offenses, DUI and reckless driving?
This Court held that the legislature intended that a conviction of one offense would preclude conviction of the other, whenever both “grew” from the same “continuous, uninterrupted course of operation of a motor vehicle. Here the defendant was charged and convicted of both 19.2-294.1 offenses, DUI and reckless driving. The evidence is undisputed that the alleged misconduct was intimately related in time and distance, arising from and connected by one continuous, uninterrupted operation of defendant’s motor vehicle. Under such circumstances, the legislature clearly intended that a conviction of one offense result in a dismissal of the other. Accordingly, defendant’s subsequent conviction for DUI is reversed.
This court hence reversed the defendant’s driving under the influence of alcohol conviction.
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