On Friday, August 15, Sarah Ann Haislip was released from prison after a yearlong sentence imposed on the teenager from Henrico County after an alcohol-related crash in January 2007 which took the life of a bartender.
Haislip, who is now 18-years-old, left the Henrico jail after she was transferred there from a state juvenile facility in Powhatan County earlier in the week, according to Sheriff Michael Wade.
Haislip’s August 2007 convictions on charges of involuntary manslaughter and possession of alcohol, among others, galvanized underage drinking awareness in the Richmond area. She was tried as an adult and sentenced to 10 years in prison, but all but one year was suspended.
Haislip’s sentence included a three-year revocation of her driver’s license in addition to community service and 15 years on probation.
Wade said that he briefly spoke to Haislip on the day of her release and urged her to warn her peers of the dangers of alcohol abuse as he believes she could have a powerful influence.
Haislip, a student of Deep Run High School, expressed deep remorse at her October sentencing, apologizing to the family of Wesley Taylor, the victim, and saying that her actions were not a reflection of who she is.
On the night of the incident, Haislip had been drinking at a New Year’s Eve party in western Henrico’s Twin Hickory community. The owners of the home were celebrating elsewhere during the party.
The Henrico police Party Crashers team which enforces the laws of underage drinking has made more than 200 juvenile arrests in the weeks prior to Haislip’s arrest and the months following it.
In July there were several teenagers charged with illegal possession of alcohol after a party was broken up by police at a home owned by a relative of the home where Haislip attended the New Year’s Eve party before the crash.
Some authorities in Henrico County have endorsed adopting ordinances that would allow homeowners where illegal drinking to take place to be fined, even if the homeowner is not present. However, no action has been taken on such a measure.