An individual can be charged with reckless driving numerous ways. One way is driving 80 miles per hour or above. Another is driving 20 miles per hour over the speed limit whether or not you’re going 80 or above. For example, doing 55 in a 35 mile per hour zone. You can also be charged with general reckless driving which means that you’re driving in a manner so as to endanger the life, limb, or property of another.
And there are also thirteen or fourteen other ways that are explicitly listed in the Virginia Code that are deemed Reckless, such as racing, driving too fast for conditions, passing a school bus, passing an emergency vehicle, and several other ways.
Because the legislature has kept the definition of Reckless Driving very vague there are infinite ways somebody could be charged with it.
In Arlington, the most common way is driving 80 miles per hour or driving over 20 miles per hour above the posted speed limit.
People are also charged with reckless driving when they are driving erratically and are impaired by alcohol, but not to the level of impairment that would allow the arresting officer to charge the person with DUI.
Or if they are just driving in a very dangerous manner that could cause injury to other people on the road, that is often charged too, although slightly more difficult to prove for prosecutors than the speeding types of Reckless Driving.
One example of general reckless driving is when someone is operating in a dangerous manner and is driving with some slight impairment due to drinking alcohol that does not raise to level of driving under the influence.
Weaving in and out of traffic, going at various level of speed, cutting people off, driving around people on the shoulder, backing up on a highway, these are all ways Reckless Driving is charged in a non-speeding situation. The real test is whether the driving behavior endangered the life or property of another person.
Racing another car, by itself and without even showing that the racing endangered anyone else can be reckless driving. Passing a school bus can be a reckless driving in it of itself. Having faulty brakes or failing to give a proper signal, driving with an obstructed view, all those can be reckless driving, regardless of the speed you were traveling.
Arlington takes speeding very seriously. They are less likely to reduce speeding and reckless driving charges than most other jurisdictions. Arlington prosecutors and judge are fair and flexible but they do take speeding and reckless driving cases very seriously.
They are also unique in that they have the specialized driving school that no other jurisdiction uses, taught by a man named Mr. Art Von Herbulis. Completion of the class is contingent upon attending three in-person sessions and paying the fee for the course.
That’s a little different because that happens in no other jurisdiction. In Arlington you should expect that they’re going to take it seriously, that they’re going to be hesitant to reduce your charges. Often to get any reduction, you will have to attend the in-person driving school, which is unique to Arlington and does not happen in other jurisdictions.