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Tipsheet

VA Delegate's Drunk Driving Is More Dangerous to Public Safety Than the Guns He's Trying to Regulate

A Democratic Virginia State Delegate was pulled over by police on the suspicion of drunk driving on Sunday. The Christiansburg Police Department said after Chris Hurst failed preliminary sobriety tests, he blew a .085%, which is above the 0.80% legal limit.

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WSLS reports police pulled over Hurst after noticing the vehicle he was driving swerved across the right side of the line several times and was going over the speed limit. Since field breathalyzer tests are not admissible in court, the officer determined Hurst would be below the legal limit by the time he was able to bring him into the magistrate’s office for a formal breathalyzer test.

Hurst was also not taken into custody because of an article in the Constitution of Virginia, which states that "unless they have committed treason, a felony, or a breach of peace, legislators are immune from arrest while the General Assembly is in session." Hurst was allowed to leave and have his girlfriend, who was in the car was not above the legal limit, to drive them home.

Hurst made a Facebook post about the incident and apologized for the infraction:

"Unfortunately, this past weekend, I made a grave mistake that rightfully has some of you questioning my judgement. Saturday night I went to a party. While at that party, she and I drank alcohol but at the time I never believed that my competence to drive was compromised. Early Sunday morning, we drove home and I was the driver. A few miles from my home in Blacksburg, I was pulled over by an officer with Christiansburg Police. After questioning my ability to drive, he asked for me to step out of the car and submit to a series of field sobriety tests. I fully complied and respected the officer’s request and completed those tests, including a breathalyzer test. My blood alcohol content was shown to be .085%. That is over the legal limit and I should not have been drinking and driving."

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The incident comes as Hurst has been championing the gun control bills that are being considered by the General Assembly after Democrats gained control of the state legislator. Hurst demonized the gun rights rally in Richmond that occurred on Martian Luther King Jr. Day.

He has a history of advocating for banning "weapons of war" because "weapons meant for war should stay on the battlefield." Hurst ran to become a delegate after his then-girlfriend, along with her cameraman, was shot and killed while she was giving a report on-air.

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As I was on the ground during the Second Amendment rally, it was certainly no white nationalist gathering. It is worth noting that despite the massive number of firearms that were in Richmond, no one was shot or injured. 

Even more so, Hurst's drunk driving was more dangerous to the public's safety than "weapons of war" in the commonwealth. According to the Virginia's Department of Motor Vehicles, 262 people were killed and 2,982 were injured in alcohol-related crashes in 2018. Contrasted with the FBI's Uniform Crime Report for 2018, only 8 Virginians were known to have been killed by a rifle of any kind.

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