Man loses license indefinitely after drunk driving conviction in New Kent

By Amy Jo Martin, amartin@tidewaterreview.com


NEW KENT – As the result of four drunk driving charges in the past 10 years, a Newport News man has lost his driving privileges.

Darren Wright Snyder, 42, was found guilty of Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) fourth offense Monday in New Kent Circuit Court, where he was sentenced to one year and four months in prison, ordered to pay $2,500 in fees, and had his driver's license indefinitely suspended.

"He had no reason to go off the wagon that day," remarked Judge Thomas B. Hoover, referring to April 6 when Snyder drove to his friend's house in Charles City, drank, and attempted to drive home.

According to court documents, when Snyder headed home on Interstate 64 eastbound, his car caught on fire for unknown reasons (unrelated to a crash).

Virginia State Police pulled Snyder over after seeing the car on fire and subsequently performed a breathalyzer test, which revealed that Snyder's alcohol level was nearly twice the legal limit of 0.08.

Though Snyder testified that he was in Charles City to collect fresh eggs from his friend, Hoover scoffed at his answer.

"That's the stupidest thing I've heard in God knows how long," he said.

Before imposing sentencing, Hoover questioned Snyder about his actions and continued problems with alcohol.

"How do I know you're not going to be that stupid again?" Hoover asked.

"When you do it four times, what stops you from doing it five times?"

Snyder responded that his brother was recently charged with a DWI that killed another person, which made him wake up.

"If I did it again, I think I should have life because I don't need to be out there," Snyder said.

Martin can be reached by phone at 804-885-0040.