In Virginia, driving under the influence can come with steep penalties. Even a first-time conviction can mean losing driving privileges for a full year.
In many cases, drivers can regain limited driving privileges after receiving a DUI conviction by applying for a restricted license. However, they must first install an ignition interlock device and enroll in the Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program.
What is VASAP?
VASAP is a substance abuse education program that is often mandatory for those who receive a DUI. The program may require participants to take classes on substance-related behavior. Additionally, VASAP works with the court to evaluate, monitor and report on the progress of cases involving a DUI or related conviction.
How long does VASAP probation last?
VASAP participants typically remain under probation for the duration of their license suspension, regardless of how long it takes to complete intervention, education and treatment work. For a first-time DUI, suspension usually lasts for one year. For second and subsequent DUIs, license suspension may last for three years or more.
How does a restricted license work?
The specific restrictions on driving privileges will depend on the type of conviction and the judgment of the court. In some cases, a driver may only need to install an ignition interlock device. In other cases, a judge may order that the offender can only drive at certain times of day or for certain purposes, such as traveling to and from work.
Those facing DUI charges should know that the court may require them to register for VASAP within 15 days of receiving a conviction. Failing to do so may result in ineligibility for the program, inability to gain restricted driving privileges and other penalties.