VIRGINIA BEACH -- Virginia Beach will begin prosecuting all driving under the influence charges -- including first offense DUI -- beginning June 30, the Commonwealth's Attorney announced Wednesday.
Colin D. Stolle, Commonwealth’s Attorney for the city of Virginia Beach, said currently the arresting officers handle most DUI-1st offense charges without the assistance of a prosecutor.
"This presents challenges for the officers because although they can testify, they cannot argue the law as defense attorneys can. By providing a prosecutor for every DUI case, the Virginia Beach Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office will be assisting law enforcement and helping dockets move efficiently in court," Stolle said in a press release.
Although the current conviction rates for DUI are above 90-percent, Stolle hopes the number of DUIs that occur in the city will decrease.
For years, Virginia Beach has had the most DUI arrests in Virginia, with over 2,300 DUI arrests passing through General District Court in 2013.
“This is unacceptable for a city that consistently ranks among the safest cities of its size,” Stolle said. “Impaired driving will not be tolerated in Virginia Beach. If you drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you will be arrested by law enforcement and prosecuted by my office.”