DUI arrest follows fatal car crash in Madison County

VSP official patch and logo used by permission by Information Officer Brent Coffey

Virginia State Police are investigating a single car crash that occurred in Madison County on Sunday July 16th at 12:20 AM, according to Corinne Geller, a representative of the State Police.

A 2003 Ford F-150 was traveling South on Old Blue Ridge Turnpike, less than a mile from Finks Hollow Road, when it ran off the road and struck several trees.

The passenger, Maya D. Powell, 20, of Culpeper, died at the scene.

The driver, Shawn A. Lohr, 19, of Rixeyville, suffered minor injuries.

Neither were wearing a seatbelt at the time of the impact.

Lohr was arrested for a DUI and driving under the influence while under the age of 21.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

Local law enforcement issues marijuana law reminders

Local law enforcement agencies are reminding residents today on 4/20 that driving under the influence of marijuana is not only dangerous, but against the law.

Under Virginia law, it is also illegal to have an opened container of marijuana in the passenger area of the vehicle.

Driving while high on marijuana can slow reaction times, impair cognitive performance, and make it difficult to maintain lane position.

Designate a sober driver or utilize a ridesharing service or cab to make it home safe.

Driving while under the influence of drugs is considered a Class 1 misdemeanor in Virginia  and penalties can include up to 12 months in jail, $2,500 fine, 12 month loss of driving privileges, and completion of certain safety programs.

Remember, if you feel different, you drive different.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over across Virginia

September marked the beginning of Virginia’s 2022 Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over driving under the influence enforcement and public education campaign.

The campaign will begin over Labor Day weekend and resume throughout the winter holiday season.

Through Labor Day, 92 Virginia law agencies will conduct 383 individual saturation patrols and 31 checkpoints as part of the program.

In 2021, 26% of traffic fatalities involved drunk driving.

Since the beginning of the program in 2001, the state has seen a 40% decrease in alcohol related crashes and a 31% decrease in fatalities while injuries have nearly halved.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

Police chase ends in Frederick County

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A police chase began in Berkeley County where officers pursued a vehicle on 81 south under suspicion of a DUI.

The vehicle, listed as stolen in Jefferson County, then entered Frederick County before taking exit 323 and continuing south.

Officers deployed a successful spike strip at Welltown Road.

Then the suspect, Matthew Kerlin, 31, led the officers on a brief foot chase.

Kerlin claimed to have swallowed methamphetamines during the pursuit and showed signs of overdosing when EMS arrived at the location.

He was then taken to Winchester Medical Center for treatment.

Kerlin will face charges including possession of drugs and a stolen vehicle, felony eluding, and driving suspended.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

December is National Impaired Driving Prevention Month

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Social media post from several law enforcement agencies is warning of stepped up patrols and checkpoints that will be enforce through New Years.

Frederick County Sheriff’s Office (FCSO) posted on social media that they will step up patrols and even posted that there will be a check point Fri. Dec. 17.

FCSO warns that you will be dropped off at the Northwestern Regional Adult Detention Center if you are caught driving impaired.

This is National Impaired Driving Prevention Month according to a social post from the Shenandoah County Sheriff’s Office.

Over 40,000 people were killed in alcohol related traffic accidents last year according to the post.

You are asked to plan ahead for a safe ride home before getting behind the wheel impaired as Driving Under the Influence (DUI) patrols will be implemented across the state.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.