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Rick Shapiro
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Beach Attorney Recognized for DUI Prosecution Efforts

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Local prosecutor Charisse Black last week received a national award for keeping alcohol- and drug-addled divers off the streets of Virginia Beach.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving tapped Black as one of 15 recipients of its 2009 President’s Criminal Justice Award for "her thorough gathering of facts, complete knowledge of current Virginia DUI laws and her ability to convict the majority of the cases she presents." Black’s supervisor, Commonwealth’s Attorney for Virginia Beach Harvey Bryant also praised Black for "seeing that those who drive drunk are convicted and punished without delay.’ Bryant also said that "Charisse embodies the ‘get tough’ attitude that this office has toward drunk drivers."

I am happy to add my congratulations to Black and to express my appreciation for her work. Drunk and drugged drivers cause untold tragedy in our area and across the United States. While statistics on fatalities, injuries and monetary damages caused by drivers impaired by drugs and alcohol are kept, those numbers do not come close to telling the story of how DUIs can ruin and end lives.

Prosecuting drunk and drugged drivers is only part of the solution, of cpursse. Drivers need to take responsibility and stay out their cars if they have been drinking or doing drugs. Also, as we kickoff the holiday party season, hosts and guests need to watch their friends and head off potential drunk drivers by ensuring safe rides homes for those who need them.

Until people do assume their full responsibilities, however, it is good to know that prosecutors like Black are protecting us.

About the Editors: The Shapiro, Cooper, Lewis & Appleton personal injury law firm, whose attorneys work out of offices in Virginia (VA) and North Carolina (NC), edits the injury law blogs Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard, and Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard as pro bono services.

EJL