Virginia is tough on drunk driving. Not only is there an all-offender ignition interlock policy, but the state requires those devices to have a camera installed to ensure the person driving is the person submitting a breath sample. Beyond that, the state stands behind the other tough penalties for drinking and driving, including keeping a conviction on a criminal record for life. Also, unlike many other states, there is no expunging a Virginia DUI, no matter how much you may regret your mistake.
Last year, Virginia’s SB22 is was favored, but it stalled in the Commonwealth’s legislature. The bill focused on expunging the following alcohol- or drug-related convictions and deferred disposition dismissals only if they occurred before the offender turned 21:
- Marijuana possession
- Underage alcohol possession.
- Using a fake ID to purchase alcohol.
Still, the state wasn’t addressing expunging any DUIs, showing just how committed it is to creating safe roads and enforcing accountability. Instead, a first-offense DUI is eligible for VASAP, the Virginia Alcohol Safety Administration Program. Not only does VASAP monitor the ignition interlock requirement, but it provides services for alcohol addiction or dependence and education programs. That may not be a huge consolation for anyone looking to have a Virginia DUI expunged, but it does allow plenty of chances to ensure you will never drink and drive again.
There is one way to ensure you never have to deal with the struggle of a Virginia DUI on your record – don’t drink and drive. There are plenty of ways to get home safely that will eliminate the possibility of drunk driving. With such tough laws, a mandatory ignition interlock requirement and no hope of expunging a Virginia DUI, you may as well go ahead and make a safe ride home part of your plans before you head out to the party.