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Virginia Lawmakers Pleads Guilty To DUI

April 30, 2019

A state lawmaker in the Commonwealth of Virginia recently pleaded guilty to driving under the influence (DUI).

State Delegate Matthew James entered into a plea agreement Monday, April 22, 2019. The agreement allows him to avoid jail time so long as he does not violate the law or his probation conditions for one year.

He will also drive on a restricted license for the near future and be required to install an ignition interlock device on any vehicle he drives for a period of six months.

At the time of his arrest, James had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.18%. The legal per se limit in Virginia is 0.08%, although a lower percentage can also lead to a DUI arrest.

DUI Probation in Virginia

When a person is convicted of a DUI charge in the Commonwealth of Virginia, he or she faces a litany of penalties, including:

  • jail or prison;

  • high fines;

  • loss of your driving privileges;

  • ignition interlock device requirement; and

  • probation.

A period of probation is a very common penalty in a Virginia DUI. This especially is the case if a judge decides to let you spend little to no time incarcerated.


Probation is often granted in lieu of incarceration, but conditions can be strict. Failure to follow the strictures of your probation can lead to the imposition of a reserved or "suspended" jail or prison sentence. For this reason, it is incredibly important to follow all conditions imposed by the judge.

Common conditions of probation supervision include but are not limited to:

  • prohibition against committing any violations of law;

  • driver's license suspension;

  • restricted driver's license conditions;

  • community service hours;

  • required use of an ignition interlock device on your vehicle;

  • required use of an alcohol monitoring device (SCRAM ankle bracelet);

  • submission to drug and alcohol testing; and

  • participation in and completion of alcohol and drug classes.

Other unique conditions can be imposed by the judge. In any case, you must follow the conditions of probation to the letter. Failure to do so can result in serious consequences.

Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program (VASAP)

Virginia law requires the completion of the Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program (VASAP) for anyone convicted of DUI. VASAP has three main parts:

  1. Intake: At the beginning of the program, your alcohol or drug dependence level will be determined. You will then get a tailored program to fit your needs as well as other important information.

  2. Education: You will get treatment through an outpatient treatment center or via another type of addiction program. You must complete all assigned hours in order to complete the program.

  3. Probation: Noncompliance with the terms of the VASAP program can be considered a violation of the conditions of your probation. You will likely be tested for drugs and alcohol. You will also be expected to maintain good attendance, or you could be put in jail.

Consult an Experienced Virginia DUI Attorney

It is important to follow all conditions of your Virginia DUI probation.

To protect your rights, you need experienced Virginia attorney Bryan J. Jones to defend your case. Every case is unique and just because you are charged with a crime does not mean you are guilty. Contact us today to schedule a consultation in your case.