Can I Be Charged with Both Reckless Driving and DUI?
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Under Virginia Code § 19.2-294.1, it states that you can not be convicted for BOTH 1) reckless driving under § 46.2-852 (which is the “general” reckless driving statute for driving at a speed or manner so as to endanger the life, limb, or property of any person) and 2) driving under the influence at the same time if these charges arose from the same incident.  Specifically the statute states:

Ҥ 19.2-294.1. Dismissal of one of dual charges for driving while intoxicated and reckless driving upon conviction of other charge.

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.”

However, you can still be convicted of both reckless driving and DUI if they charged you for reckless driving under the other reckless driving code sections.  These code sections are:

46.2-853 Improper/Faulty Brakes
46.2-854 Passing on Curve or Crest of Hill
46.2-855 Driving with View Obscured
46.2-856 Passing Two Vehicles at Once
46.2-857 Driving Two Cars Side-by-Side in One Lane
46.2-858 Passing at a Railroad Crossing
46.2-859 Passing a Stopped School Bus
46.2-860 Failing to Signal
46.2-861 Driving too Fast For Conditions
46.2-862 Driving 20 mph over the Speed Limit or 80 mph
46.2-863 Failure to Yield Right of Way
46.2-865 Racing

Traffic defense attorneys should be aware of this when counseling their clients. If you are charged with both reckless driving generally under Va. Code § 46.2-852 and DUI under Va. Code § 18.2-266, it may be advisable to take the reckless driving conviction if it helps you avoid a DUI conviction.

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