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Northern Virginia principal announces retirement after DUI arrest

A DUI arrest can be a devastating experience for just about anyone. However, for people in some professions, it can have serious career ramifications. The 53-year old principal of Drew Model Elementary School in Arlington announced her retirement less than a week after she was arrested for drunk driving.

The incident occurred on March 7. The woman was pulled over in the Arlington area at about 3:30 a.m. after a police officer noted her driving erratically and stopping her car for a green light. She was taken into custody after a sobriety test allegedly indicated that she was under the influence.

By early the following week, the superintendent of Arlington Public Schools informed parents that the woman, who had reportedly been an educator in the community for more than two decades, told them that "she plans to retire." He said that she would be on leave until her official retirement date of March 17. A spokesman for the school district denied to the media that the principal had been fired.

The outgoing principal penned a letter as well. She expressed her best wishes to everyone in the school and the community. It was not reported that she made any reference to the DUI incident or provided any other explanation for her departure.

As we note on our criminal law website, traffic offenses involving alcohol carry mandatory minimum penalties that can include fines, loss of driver's license and even prison time. Even for someone like this woman, who reportedly has no DUI convictions in her past, the impact to her life, reputation and ability to earn a living can be significant. It is crucial that people who find themselves faced with a DUI do not try to go through the justice system without legal guidance and support. There is simply too much at stake.

Source: ARLnow.com, "Drew Elementary Principal Resigns After DUI Arrest" No author given, Mar. 19, 2014

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