Va. Code § 46.2-855: Reckless by Driving with Impaired Control/View Because of Passengers
Driving while passengers (or objects) obstruct the driver’s front or side view, or impair the driver’s ability to operate the vehicle, is reckless driving. Often, law enforcement officers charge drivers with this form of reckless driving when there are more passengers than seat belts in the front seats regardless of whether the driver’s view was actually obstructed.
Va. Code 46.2-855 Reckless Driving – Driving with driver’s view obstructed or control impaired
“A person shall be guilty of reckless driving who drives a vehicle when it is so loaded, or when there are in the front seat such number of persons, as to obstruct the view of the driver to the front or sides of the vehicle or to interfere with the driver’s control over the driving mechanism of the vehicle.”
Penalties for Fairfax Reckless Driving -Impaired View
- Class 1 misdemeanor (Criminal Conviction)
- 0 to 12 months in jail
- $0-$2,500 in fines
- 0-6 months loss of license
- 6 Va DMV demerit points
Defenses for Reckless Driving with an Impaired View
There are two main ways we prevent conviction for reckless driving with an impaired view in Fairfax:
1) We attack the culpability. We try to show reasons why the driver does not deserve these harsh punishments and ask the court to reduce the charge to a less sever traffic ticket.
2) We attack the accuracy and admissibility of the police officer’s accusations. Often there is a question of how the officer knows whether the driver’s view was obstructed or his ability to operate the vehicle impaired. Simply having the vehicle heavily loaded or having too many passengers in the front seat is not enough.
For more information about reckless driving defenses, click here.
Some of the things we recommend drivers do, can include (click the links for more information):
- Taking a Driver Improvement Course
- Get a copy of the officer’s accident report (if there was an accident)
- Take pictures from the driver’s seat showing the driver’s view exactly as it existed at the time of the ticket.
- Writing a brief biography about yourself
- Writing a detailed incident summary about yourself
- Getting a copy of your DMV record
Likely Lesser Offenses For Reckless Driving – Impaired View or Operation
In Fairfax, prosecutors will not negotiated with unrepresented defendants; however, your attorney might be able to get the reckless driving charge reduced from a criminal reckless driving charge to one of the following non criminal traffic tickets:
- Improper Driving
- Failure to wear a seat belt
- Failure to Pay Full Time and Attention