Program Type: Enforcement, Training, Public Education & Treatment
Program Location: Virginia
Lead Agency: The Commission on the Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program
Partners: Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles
The Issue: Prevention
Program Target Population: Underage Offenders
Hardcore Offenders
Repeat Offenders

Program Description:

This program operates across the Commonwealth and provides DUI offenders the tools and resources, through education and treatment, to make smarter choices, reduce recidivism and help improve highway safety. This is accomplished through 5 different component areas:



Training for law enforcement to enhance the apprehension of DUI offenders


Work with judicial system to efficiently process offenders and provide proper sanctions for non-compliance

Case management/offender intervention

Individualized attention to ensure offender follows program requirements

Public information/education

Conduct local public information efforts and trainings to support program mission


Each program is evaluated to ensure that services are effective, consistent and appropriate


As offenders enter the program, they are classified into one of three categories based on their assessment:



The offender is characterized as having an alcohol or other drug pattern which does not result in tolerance to the substance nor do they exhibit substantial problems with substance abuse

Intensive Education

The offender is characterized as using quantities of alcohol or drugs resulting in increased tolerance and exhibits substantial problems with alcohol or drugs without appearing addicted or exhibiting addictive patterns


The offender is characterized as exhibiting serious problems with alcohol or other drugs, has a significant tolerance or addiction to alcohol or other drugs and shows abusive patterns of use.


Each category has a specific treatment plan and goal for the offenders in the program. Should an offender fail to comply with their specified plan, they could be re-assessed and enter a different treatment plan.

There is a statewide commission that controls administrative and regulatory efforts of 24 local programs. This allows for better control of funding as well as standardizing curricula used by each local program. This leads to more equitable and effective services for all offenders in the program.

Program Effectiveness:

The program helps an average of 70,000 individuals each year. Since the program’s inception in 1975, DUI fatalities have continually declined each year.

Program Cost Effectiveness:

The Commission provides continued oversight of program budgets and budget amendments in addition to a monthly review of expenditures and collections.  As a state agency, the Commission negotiates contracts for goods and services and provides information to local programs for their use.

Source of Funding:

  • Offenders’ fees

Factors to Consider When Replicating the Program:

  • Obtaining legislative approval and support
  • Creating equal access to treatment services
  • Collecting funds (money from the offenders) in unfavorable economic times
  • Standardizing services in both rural and urban jurisdictions

Formal Evaluation of Program:

An Examination of Recidivism of Offenders Receiving Services from the Virginia Alcohol Safety Program

For more information on this program, please contact:

Angela D. Coleman