STAUNTON, Va -- David Apraham from Spotsylvania County has been convicted 12 times for drunk driving. He was convicted six times in Mississippi, three times in Alabama and twice in Virginia. Now, Apraham may go to jail for seven years. The question is how do police let cases like this one get this far?
Law enforcement and prosecutors are meeting in Staunton this week to keep that from happening. Deputy Commonwealth's Attorney Cathy Black is teaching nearly 60 people this week about driving while drunk and the pain that can come from that.
“It seems it's always the innocent people who get hurt,” said Black. “We want to keep those people off the streets. We want to keep more people alive.”
Black described a case she will always remember. A 21-year old man died after being hit head-on by a drunk driver.
“The kid's family was obviously devastated. That young man's family will never get over this death; this loss.”
Black said DUIs affect families on both sides of the steering wheel, including the drunk driver.
“His family's devastated as well. He's killed someone; nobody's ever going to be the same.”
That pain is what motivates Black to talk to attorneys and law enforcement. They are learning about how to handle DUI scenarios and about the seriousness of driving after drinking.
Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Bryan Porter hopes to make a difference in his hometown of Alexandria.
“Horrible experience to have to explain to a family member that no matter what I do, we're not going to be able to bring your family member back to you. That's what really motivates us to prosecute these cases,” said Porter.
Black wants others to take what they have learned and share it. That might let fewer people die from DUIs.
“That's what we're trying to do is prevent more accidents from happening in the first place and save more lives,” said Black.
The DUI training is held twice a year and this session lasts through Friday.
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