Lee arrested for public drunkenness hours before court date on multiple DWI charges

Sheriff Compton: Some people ‘have to hit rock bottom’

Brittney Michelle Lee, 31, of Washington was supposed to enter a plea in Rappahannock County District Court on Tuesday morning surrounding multiple alcohol-related charges. Except she was a no show.

Turns out she was arrested the night before, charged by the Rappahannock County Sheriff’s Office with being “drunk in public.”

Furthermore, she was still “too intoxicated” to keep her 9 a.m. court date Tuesday with Judge Jeffrey W. Parker.

“A lot of them have to hit rock bottom” before they can be helped, Sheriff Connie Compton commented to reporters Tuesday morning, adding that Lee appears to be one of those people.

Reading from the arrest report, Compton said at 8:16 p.m. Monday night Lee was taken into custody at the residence of David Jones, at 854 Fodderstack Road, where both a “no trespassing order” and “protective order” were already in place to keep her off of the property.

Ironically, Compton said, it was Lee who placed the call to the sheriff’s office that resulted in her arrest.

Lee’s attorney, Frank Reynolds, only learned of his client’s arrest minutes before her scheduled court appearance Tuesday morning.

“She’s apparently too intoxicated for them to bring her here,” Reynolds told this newspaper just before walking into the courtroom and informing the judge of Lee’s latest run-in with the law.

Lee’s $5000 bond was immediately revoked by the judge, who set a new court date of May 2 for the defendant. Lee will remain in jail until that time, Reynolds said.

In late February, Lee appeared in court to face multiple alcohol-related charges, including two for second DWI offenses. Reynolds explained before that court date that the two DWI 2nd offenses were in different jurisdictions, and because neither had yet been adjudicated they both stood as second offenses.

But that status didn’t last long. Minutes later, District Court Judge J. Gregory Ashwell signed off on an agreement that sent one of the DWI offenses to the grand jury for indictment as a third offense.

For the other DWI offense, Lee was sentenced to 12 months in jail. All but ten months were suspended, but she was required to spend at least 40 days incarcerated. Ashwell also sentenced her to pay a $200 fine for a charge of drinking while driving with an open container.

Lee had planned to appeal those two charges.

In February 2015, Lee pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated and failing to stop at the scene of an accident. And the previous October 10 her pickup truck collided with a parked car at the intersection of Harris Hollow Road and Main Street in Washington. Lee left the scene.

As a result, Lee was sentenced to 180 days in Rappahannock Shenandoah Warren Regional Jail in Front Royal, with 160 days suspended. She was required to complete the VASAP alcohol safety program. Her license was suspended for one year, but she was eligible to apply for a restricted license after 60 days.

In February 2014, Lee pleaded guilty to a first offense of DWI, pleaded down from a second offense. She was sentenced to 180 days in jail, with 160 days suspended.

— Patty Hardee contributed to this report

About John McCaslin 449 Articles
John McCaslin is the editor of the Rappahannock News. Email him at editor@rappnews.com.

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