WAMU 88.5 : News

New Drunk Driving Law Extends Suspension, Raises Offense For Teens

Play associated audio

The law doubles the suspension period for anyone in Virginia under the age of 21 found driving with a blood alcohol level of at .02. It also elevates the offense to a class one misdemeanor.

Kurt Erickson, president of the Washington Regional Alcohol Program, says that penalty sends a message.

"You're not only going to be guilty of a class one misdemeanor in Virginia, you're going to lose your license for a year," he says. "That's not up to a year, that's a year minimum."

Laura Dawson, who lost her son to a drunk driving accident in 1999, is strongly supportive of the new law, but says laws can only do so much without increased awareness of the dangers of drunk driving.

"We're always supportive of law enforcement being able to do their jobs, but there's never going to be enough laws to stop everything," she says.

The law isn't entirely new to Virginia. Identical legislation took effect in 2008, but had a two year sunset provision. The new version is permanent.

NPR

Book Review: 'Kinder Than Solitude'

Ellah Allfrey reviews Kinder Than Solitude, by Yiyun Li.
NPR

Plant Breeders Release First 'Open Source Seeds'

Scientists and food activists are launching a campaign to promote seeds that can be freely shared, rather than protected through patents and licenses. They call it the Open Source Seed Initiative.
NPR

John Edwards Resumes Career As Trial Attorney

The former U.S. senator and Democratic presidential hopeful is one of three attorneys representing a boy in a medical malpractice case in North Carolina.
NPR

Police In Canada Make Arrest Related To 'Heartbleed' Bug

A 19-year-old computer science student was taken into custody for allegedly exploiting the bug to steal sensitive information from government servers.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.