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Drowsy driving could come at a big cost, Virginia

Va. (WVVA) According to The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drowsy driving was attributed to nearly 800 lives lost in 2017, and officials say it’s preventable.

“You don’t want to injure yourself or anyone else on the roads,” said Virginia State Trooper Randi Mullins. “

There is currently no Virginia law punishing drowsy driving but in some cases, a driver can be charged with reckless driving, a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Michael J. Letsen is a partner representing ‘Galumbeck & Kegley Attorneys at Law’ located in the Town of Tazewell.

Letsen says he handles about 700 reckless driving cases a year.

“Where I see people getting into trouble with reckless driving is when they take sleep medications,” said Letsen. “They get on the roads and that is a dangerous thing to do.”

Pam White is an agent with Huffman Insurance Agency in Tazewell County and says a reckless driving crash can make a huge impact on your insurance rates.

“Bottom line, each accident causes all of us to pay more with insurance costs,” said White. “It could also put your license in jeopardy.”

Best advice, if you’re feeling sleepy behind the wheel, consider taking a break from your drive.

“Don’t pull off on the side of the road, that’s just as dangerous as driving drowsy,” said Trooper Mullins. “You should pull out in front of a restaurant or another business location.”

Under Virginia Law, a Class 1 misdemeanor could mean up to a year in jail and up to $2,500 in fines.

 

Jennifer Roberts

Multimedia Journalist

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