David P. Baker, the former Alexandria police chief who resigned after being charged with driving under the influence, pleaded guilty to the DUI charge on August 14 and is expected to turn himself in to the Arlington County jail to serve a five-day sentence.


Baker’s plea before Arlington General District Court Judge Dorothy H. Clarke was in relation to his DUI arrest on July 25 after his city-issued Ford Explorer was involved in a collision with another vehicle in Arlington County. He then failed a series of sobriety tests.


According to Arlington records, Baker’s blood-alcohol content was measured to be 0.19 percent, more than twice the legal limit of 0.08.


Three days after his arrest, Baker retired from the Alexandria Police Department, bringing his 40-career to a close. He has not publicly said what he did prior to the crash, but he accepted responsibility for his actions, rather than enduring an internal investigation.


As part of Baker’s plea agreement, he has been sentenced to 180 days in jail and fined $1,500. The judge suspended 175 days of the sentence, meaning Baker will serve the mandatory five-day minimum sentence for driving at such a high level of intoxication. All but $300 of the fine was also suspended, and Baker has been ordered to attend the county’s Alcohol Safety Action Program for DUI offenders. His license was also suspended for a year.


On the same day Baker entered his plea, Arlington police announced the department would be participating in an intensive national campaign against drunken driving that runs from August 21 to September 7 called “Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest.” Police announced that their focus would be drunken driving during high-risk nighttime hours, which is coincidentally when Baker was arrested.

Bob Battle
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