If you are convicted of a Virginia DUI, you may be ordered to participate in any of several different programs that are administered by the state. The umbrella organization that oversees these programs is known as the Virginia Alcohol and Substance Abuse Program, or VASAP.

History of VASAP

VASAP can trace its history back to the MANN Commission, which was formed in 1966. That commission recommended that the state conform to the Federal Highway Safety Act, which had been passed that year. As a result, a federally-funded state highway division was founded, and this agency later became the Department of Transportation.

The modern-day version of VASAP originated in 1972 through a pilot program in Fairfax County which was funded by the federal government. The pilot program was so successful that 3 years later, the Virginia General Assembly voted to expand the program across the state. Today, there are 24 local VASAP programs.

What VASAP Does

VASAP administers programs which pertain to 5 different component areas. These areas are: 

  • Enforcement
  • Adjudication
  • Case Management and Offender Intervention
  • Public Information
  • Evaluation and Certification 

VASAP is managed by a commission of 15 members whose purpose is to effectively carry out the mandates of the program.

How VASAP Deals with DUI Offenders

If an individual is convicted of driving under the influence in the state of Virginia, they are ordered to report to a local VASAP office in the state within 15 days. Once there, they are placed into one or more of the following programs: 

  • Adolescent Alcohol Education
  • Community Corrections Services
  • Driving Suspended Program
  • Driver Improvement
  • Drug Testing/Urine Screening
  • First Offender Drug Program
  • Habitual Offender Restoration Reviews
  • Ignition Interlock Program
  • Public Inebriate Program
  • Reckless/Aggressive Driving Program
  • Relapse Education
  • Victim Impact Panel
  • Youth Offender Program 

Not every jurisdiction in Virginia offers all of these programs. Smaller counties or localities may provide only a few of them.

Each program has a list of requirements that the DUI offender must fulfill
. Failure to do so may result in VASAP informing the court that the offender was non-compliant. If this occurs, the offender might be incarcerated, assessed additional fines, or dispossessed of their driver's license.

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Bob Battle
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