About the Commission

 

 

  • General Information
  • The Commission
  • Commission Duties
  • What Happens to the Offender?
  • Funding
  • Programs

General Information

Drinking and driving has been a serious problem in Virginia since the 1940s. The history of what has come to be known as VASAP began with the development of the four alcohol countermeasure activities of the MANN Commission, formed in 1966, which recommended that Virginia respond to the Federal Highway Safety Act of 1966. Through federal funding, a state Highway Safety Division was formed, later to become the Department of Transportation Safety.


In 1972, a pilot program in Fairfax County was established, being one of 35 national projects funded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.


In 1975, the Department of Transportation Safety submitted legislation to the Virginia General Assembly to expand the program statewide. This legislation enabled the local programs, known as Alcohol Safety Action Programs (ASAPs), to become self-supporting through the collection of a client fee authorized by the General Assembly.
Today there are 24 local programs, operating in accordance with the five (5) component target areas.
These five components include more specific objectives to achieve the program goal of improving highway safety. They are:


1) Enforcement
VASAP enhances law enforcement efforts to reduce alcohol and drug-related crashes. VASAP helps law enforcement agencies in the area of traffic enforcement, acquiring state of the art equipment and providing training to law enforcement to detect and apprehend DUI offenders.


2) Adjudication
VASAP, the prosecutors and the courts cooperate to ensure the efficient processing of those convicted of DUI and referred to an ASAP for probation. VASAP also works with the courts to develop appropriate revocation procedures in the event the offender does not follow probation requirements.


3) Case Management & Offender Intervention  
Each offender's case is handled by a case manager who classifies the offender to determine the appropriate education and/or treatment services needed. The case manager supervises each case to ensure that probation requirements are fulfilled.


4) Public Information
VASAP works hard to inform the public about the dangers and costs of drinking and driving. It undertakes extensive prevention activities yearly.


5) Evaluation and Certification
The Commission on VASAP is responsible for periodically evaluating and certifying local ASAPs to ensure they are servicing communities in an effective, efficient manner.

The Commission

In 1986, the General Assembly established a Commission on VASAP to formulate and maintain standards to be observed by local ASAPs and to allocate funds to programs with budget deficits.
The Commission is composed of 15 members who offer a broad range of knowledge and experience to effectively administer the ASAP system as provided in Section 18.2-271.2 Code of Virginia Commission on VASAP.

Commission Duties

The Commission on VASAP, through the Executive Director, is responsible for the administration of the state system and overseeing the operations of local Alcohol Safety Action Programs and for ensuring local program adherence to promulgated policies and procedures.

What Happens to the Offender?

The offender is placed on probation by the court and ordered to report to the local ASAP office within 15 days. Offenders who fail to meet the requirements of ASAP probation may be returned to court as noncompliant, possibly resulting in the imposition of previously suspended fines and jail sentences.

Funding

No state tax dollars are used to fund the ASAP system. Each probationer is required to pay a minimum participation fee. The Commission on VASAP periodically receives federal highway safety grant monies for special highway safety initiatives.

Programs

ASAP has developed methods to improve highway safety programs and to provide for an efficient system that is responsive to the needs of each locality in Virginia. In addition to education/treatment programs offered under the ASAP initiative, other services are made available through ancillary programs. Some are mandated and offered statewide while others are created based on the individual needs of the areas served by the local programs.

 

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