Sheriff’s son charged with DUI

Published 11:53 pm Friday, September 2, 2011

The son of Suffolk’s sheriff faces his fourth DUI charge in less than six years after being arrested Monday on suspicion of driving under the influence.

Raleigh Henderson Isaacs Jr., 50, is charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and refusing to take a blood or breath test, city spokeswoman Debbie George said.

Officers were dispatched about 11:30 p.m. Sunday to a possible drunk driver who had left the Ruby Tuesday restaurant on Godwin Boulevard after arguing with other patrons, George said.

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The officers found the vehicle stopped in the middle of North Main Street, George said.

They approached the vehicle and found Isaacs to be the driver. The officers allegedly noticed a strong odor coming from him and an open container of beer, George said.

Isaacs allegedly refused to submit to a blood or breath test to detect the presence of alcohol, George said.

Despite this being his fourth charge for driving under the influence in six years, Isaacs has never been convicted of DUI.

He was charged in March 2006 with driving under the influence and reckless driving. The reckless driving charge was not prosecuted. The DUI charge was reduced to reckless driving, and he was found guilty of that charge. He was given a 30-day suspended sentence and a $1,000 fine.

In October 2006, Isaacs was charged with driving under the influence, refusing to take a blood or breath test and reckless driving. The DUI and refusal charges were dismissed, and the reckless driving charge was reduced to improper driving. He received a 30-day suspended sentence and a $500 fine.

In June 2008, Isaacs was again charged with DUI, refusal and reckless driving after the van he was driving slammed into the front window of Pinner’s Flower Shop on West Washington Street.

In that wreck, George said at the time, Isaacs was heading east on West Washington Street, near the intersection of North Broad Street, when he swerved to avoid a vehicle that ran the stoplight at Broad. Isaacs veered off the road to the left and into the flower shop.

Charges of driving under the influence and refusal were not prosecuted in that wreck. Isaacs pleaded guilty to reckless driving.

His license was suspended for six months for that charge. He received a sentence of six months in jail with five months and 20 days suspended. He served 10 days in jail.

That case was handled by a special prosecutor from Norfolk, Jill Harris. According to Amanda Howie, the director of communications for the Norfolk Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office, the plea deal was struck because there was insufficient evidence to prosecute the DUI charge.