DWI charges bring guilty pleas

In Rappahannock County District Court this week, several drivers accused of drunk driving pleaded guilty and were sentenced by Judge J. Gregory Ashwell.

Michael Raymond Doyle, 50, of Washington, who also faces felony charges in circuit court of eluding police and damaging a dwelling — after he ended a brief high-speed pursuit by police Dec. 11 by driving his pickup into an unoccupied house on U.S. 211 — pleaded guilty Tuesday (March 3) to DWI (second offense within five years) and driving a vehicle without a court-ordered breath-interlock device.

For the DWI, Ashwell sentenced Doyle to 12 months in jail (10 months suspended) and imposed a $1,000 fine and an additional three-year license suspension. For the interlock offense, Doyle was fined $100 and given a 12-month jail sentence (all of it suspended).

Ashwell agreed to drop charges of reckless driving and driving on a suspended license in exchange for the pleas, as recommended by Commonwealth’s Attorney Art Goff. Doyle’s felony charges were certified for the circuit court grand jury that meets March 9. He remains in custody at Rappahannock Shenandoah Warren Regional Jail.

Richard Ronald Farnham, 52, of Culpeper, pleaded guilty to drunk driving and possession of drug paraphernalia (reduced from possession of marijuana) last Christmas Day along Viewtown Road in Amissville. Ashwell fined him $250, gave him 30 days in jail (all of it suspended) and suspended his driver’s license for 12 months; the sentence automatically requires an ignition interlock for six months.

Brett Jenkins, 51, of Washington, pleaded guilty to driving under the influence, stopped on Dec. 30 by a sheriff’s deputy at Gay Street and Warren Avenue. Ashwell fined him $250 and suspended his driver’s license for 12 months.

Andrew M. Thompson, 46, of Sperryville, pleaded guilty to speeding and driving under the influence on Jan. 24. Judge Ashwell fined him $250 for each offense, also imposing a 90-day jail sentence (all of it suspended) for the DWI. Ashwell also suspended Thompson’s license for 12 months (including a six-month ignition interlock for restricted driving to and from work and court-ordered VASAP meetings).

Roger Piantadosi
About Roger Piantadosi 539 Articles

Former Rappahannock News editor Roger Piantadosi is a writer and works on web and video projects for Rappahannock Media and his own Synergist Media company. Before joining the News in 2009, he was a staff writer, editor and web developer at The Washington Post for almost 30 years.