A Virginia man recently got himself involved in car crash that turned out to be anything but minor. On October 20, the 42-year-old from Critz, in the southern part of the Old Dominion, allegedly drove drunk, hit a police cruiser, and fled the scene.

The drunk driving accident occurred on a Saturday night in West Virginia, near the area of St. Albans Mall on U.S. Route 60. A little after 10 p.m., a police officer was assisting another driver when the Virginia man’s car collided with the cruiser. Thankfully, the officer was not in his car at the time, barely escaping serious injury or worse.

After sideswiping the policeman’s 2012 Dodge Durango, the driver is said to have sped off down the highway heading east. Local police were able to quickly apprehend the driver, who later passed out once placed in the officers’ car. He required transport to a nearby hospital.

No severe injuries occurred as a result of the incident, although authorities noted damage to both the Virginia man’s car and the struck police car.

Jailed on a $15,000 bond, the man faces charges of driving under the influence (DUI), fleeing while driving under the influence, and leaving the scene. Police also charged him with carrying a concealed weapon.

In Virginia, drunk driving charges can sometimes lead to jail time for the offender, signaling the severity with which lawmakers treat those types of crimes.

Victims of drunk driving accidents, on the other hand, can experience difficulty seeking justice if the offender fled the accident. When a drunk driver speeds away from the scene of a crime, he or she is potentially altering evidence and making witness accounts more brief. In addition, drivers who flee have time on their sides, as the effects of alcohol will necessarily wear off as the hours tick by.

While the law is often on the side of victims, time is not. However, an experienced attorney will realize the significance of a driver’s having fled the scene, demonstrating to the court that those struck by drunk drivers can be twice victimized: first by the incident itself, then later by the uncaring nature of those who couldn’t be bothered to stop.

Source: WCHS, “A man from Virginia is in jail after hitting a police cruiser,” Oct. 22, 2012