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Newport News Former Assistant Police Chief Appeals DUI Conviction

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Dawn D. Barber, a high-ranking Newport News police official admitted that she was driving drunk on Interstate 64 in Hampton last summer, but she is now appealing her conviction.

Barber is a former assistant police chief who was demoted to captain following her DUI conviction in Virginia and is actively trying to appeal her DUI case.

On August 16, 2008, Barber was pulled over at approximately 9:40 PM after a Virginia State Police Trooper said she was weaving in traffic and almost hit another vehicle on I-64 near North King Street.

Barber told the trooper that she drank a “Texas-size” margarita at a restaurant about 30 minutes prior to being pulled over.  According to the state trooper, Barber did not do well on sobriety tests and a breath test showed a blood alcohol content of 0.12 percent.

In an article posted on the Dailypress.com, Barber was quoted as saying, “of course I regret it.  I take full responsibility.”  She made this comment after being found guilty at a hearing in Hampton General District Court in November.

Barber’s appeal is being heard in Hampton Circuit Court.  In her appeal, she contends that her case should have been dismissed because a judge would not accept a legal maneuver that would have given her the opportunity for a lesser conviction of reckless driving instead of DUI.  According to Barber’s attorney, the judge was required under state law to accept the plea.

The Hampton Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office is requesting a jury trial in Barber’s case and has stated that the judge did nothing wrong.

Barber’s motion for dismissal is scheduled for April 13 and her trial is supposed to start May 26.

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