Washington Nationals’ Jason Werth Sentenced to 10 Days Jail-time for Reckless Driving

Nationals' Jason Werth Convicted of Reckless Driving in Fairfax

Jayson Werth, a right fielder for the Washington Nationals, was convicted of reckless driving on January 2, 2015 in Fairfax County General District Court. According to the officer, Werth was driving over 100 mph on the Beltway and George Washington Parkway on July 6th, 2014.

Werth was sentenced to ten days in jail, his driver’s license was suspended, and he received a $1,000 fine. He was also sentenced with 170 days of suspended jail time, which he might have to serve if he violates any of the conditions set by the court (e.g., a second offense within a given time frame). Unfortunately, these penalties are not so unusual for speeding in Virginia, which can constitute a criminal misdemeanor offense of reckless driving. Under Virginia law, driving 20 mph or more over the speed limit, or driving more than 80 mph anywhere, is considered reckless driving. As a class 1 misdemeanor, it is punishable by up to 12 months in jail and a fine of up to $2,500.

According to USA Today, Fairfax County General District Court Judge Penney Azcarate chastised Werth for his speed, commenting that “I-495 is not a racetrack.” Nonetheless, as Werth’s defense attorneys pointed out during the case, the speed reported by the officer may not have been accurate.

The Virginia State Police trooper testified that he followed behind Werth for approximately 30 minutes, pacing Werth at 105 mph. Pacing is a technique used by law enforcement to gauge other drivers’ speeds, but as Werth’s attorney emphasized, this is not always reliable.

Werth’s lawyer will be appealing the case. Werth testified that “it’s possible [he] exceeded 90 miles per hour,” but that he was driving “under 100 for sure.”

NBC Washington reports that Werth will likely serve five of the ten days of his sentence.

(image courtesy of Terry Foote)