Isaacs arraigned on DUI charge

Published 11:20 pm Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A special prosecutor will be brought in to handle the court case of a sheriff’s son who has been accused of drunk driving.

Because of the potential conflict of interest with local prosecutors, the Norfolk Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office has accepted the case of Raleigh H. Isaacs Jr., who is charged with driving under the influence and refusing to submit to a blood or breath test.

Isaacs, the son of Suffolk Sheriff Raleigh Isaacs Sr., was formally charged Aug. 29. At his arraignment Wednesday morning, the public defender’s office was appointed to represent him.

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Officers were dispatched about 11:30 p.m. Aug. 28 to a possible drunk driver who had left the Ruby Tuesday restaurant on Godwin Boulevard after arguing with other patrons, according to Suffolk spokesperson Debbie Gorge.

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 of alcohol 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.

The Norfolk office also handled similar charges for Isaacs that stemmed from a June 2008 wreck. He was charged with DUI, refusal and reckless driving after the van he was operating slammed into the front window of Pinner’s Flower Shop on West Washington Street.

In that wreck, city spokeswoman Debbie 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. The other vehicle did not stop.

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.

Isaacs also was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol twice in 2006. One charge was dismissed, and the other was reduced to reckless driving. He was found guilty of reckless driving.