On November 19, a high-ranking police official in Newport News was convicted in Hampton General District Court of driving under the influence after an incident in August involving a Virginia state trooper spotting her weaving in and out of traffic.
The conviction for 44-year-old Dawn Barber came one day after she was demoted by Newport News Police Chief James Fox one rank from assistant chief to captain, due to the offense.
Shortly after 9:30 p.m. on August 16, a state trooper pulled Barber over after he said she nearly hit another vehicle on Interstate 64. He charged her with DUI and reckless driving.
Barber was sentenced to a 30-day suspended jail term, a one-year restricted driver’s license allowing her to only drive for work, a fine of $250, and mandatory alcohol counseling. Her attorney said it was a standard punishment for a first offense. If she fails to follow through, her fine will be doubled to $500 and she could have to serve her prison sentence and lose all driving privileges.
When Barber was pulled over, Sgt. Robert Bowers Jr., the trooper who pulled her over, said that she told him that she drank a “Texas-size” margarita at a restaurant 30 minutes prior. He said that she failed several field sobriety tests. When given a Breathalyzer test, Bowers said that Barber’s blood-alcohol content measured 0.12, more than the legal limit of 0.08.