Henrico teacher arrested, accused of DUI

Posted at 10:39 PM, Apr 11, 2012
and last updated 2012-04-12 09:33:58-04

HENRICO, Va (WTVR)- Students and teachers in Central Virginia are off on Spring Break this week.  But one Henrico teacher’s break included time in jail overnight, charged with a crime that doesn’t jibe with a display in front of the building where he teaches.

A smashed-up car is part of a prom “don’t drink and drive” display on Hermitage High School’s front lawn.  Ironically, not too far down the road at Bremo Rd. and Broad St. is where Hermitage English teacher Michael McCormack was arrested and charged with driving under the influence.

“Every DUI case is different,” said defense attorney Joseph McGrath.  “Some include accidents or bodily injury or death, and those tend to warrant stiffer penalties."

Police sources say McCormack blew a 0.19 on his Breathalizer test, adding he was pulled over on Tuesday night.

McGrath has defended drivers accused of drunk driving for more than 15 years, including hundreds of cases.  He say one of the first things he tells each client is about the cost.  "All in all it's very expensive, time-consuming,” said McGrath.  “[There are] repercussions that will follow you for many years."

McGrath says it’s important to remind folks that any accused drunk driver is innocent until proven guilty.  But he agrees that with new legislation imposing mandatory interlocking devices, driver’s license suspension, and counseling, the spotlight on driving under the influence is brighter than ever.  "I have clients say to me, ‘you mean I can go to jail? They can take my license?’” said McGrath.  “’I gotta have interlock?’ the public still doesn't get it."

A Henrico Schools spokesperson had not responded to email and phone messages late Wednesday, so what happens now with McCormack’s teaching status is not clear.