VIRGINIA: The number of DUI cases that are being dropped is rising following an officer quitting. On August 11th charges against ten drivers were dropped. The date prosecutors discovered that Christopher Skinner had resigned from the police. Since then, further DUI cases have now been dropped, another 40 DUI cases are being reviewed in order to decide a way forward with them as confirmed by the commonwealth’s attorney spokes person. The officer in question (Christopher D Skinner) won an award last year for his DUI work.
Many drivers facing DUI charges have walked free and/or imminently will. Many of the drivers were facing mandatory jail terms for high blood alcohol levels. Several of the DUI cases involved repeat offenders. Court officials have advised that over 100 drivers who received traffic tickets will also likely be relieved that the cases will be dropped.
Prosecutors though can reinstate the charges as and when they see fit, if required. Officer Skinner has approximately a further 20 (Non DUI) cases currently finding their way through the courts. He may also have cases that the commonwealth attorney has no involvement in. There are DUI cases pending in 3 courts: That being General District, Circuit and Juvenile & Domestic Relations District. The Police Department had also confirmed this week that prior to Skinner’s departure administrative investigations were opened.
The Police Department would not confirm the reasons for Skinner’s departure or what the investigations centered around. Sections of the Freedom of Information act were cited which allows information to be withheld by the government. At this point the attorney’s office has not been requested to consider criminal charges, The Police Dept. had employed Skinner from August 2011. It is rare for cases to be pulled if an officer making the arrests is no longer employed by the Police Department. If police officers quit or retire or take up alternative employment but are still resident within the area they can still testify but prosecutors will attempt to accommodate their schedules.
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