Alcohol Related Laws in Virginia

When it comes to alcohol, the laws in Virginia are strict and straightforward. If you find yourself in violation of any of one the state’s various alcohol-related regulations, your best bet is to seek competent legal help as soon as possible. An experienced Fairfax DUI lawyer can quickly review your case and provide you with trusted advice on what to do next. Without proper guidance, you face the harshest penalties of the law.

Here are some of the alcohol related laws you should be aware of in Virginia:

  • Open containers — According to Code of Virginia Section 18.2-323.1, it is illegal to operate a vehicle with an open container of alcohol in the car. If law enforcement sees an open container within reach of the passenger seat area, they may arrest you for DUI. For a class 1 misdemeanor like this, you face up to a year in jail and up to $2,500 in fines.
  • DUI with minor passengers —A driver who commits a DUI with minors under the age of 17 in the vehicle faces increased penalties. Penalties for this offense often include a mandatory minimum of five days in jail, and up to $1,000 in fines.
  • Restitution for DUI — In addition to fines and other penalties, you could face restitution for the government’s cost of responding to your drunk driving arrest. Depending on the circumstances, this might include police, fire department, paramedics, etc. The state maximum for such restitution is $1,000.
  • Vehicle impoundment for DUI — If you are stopped while driving without a license because of a DUI conviction, police may impound your vehicle.
  • Hunting while intoxicated — According to Code of Virginia Section 18.2-285, it is unlawful to hunt with crossbows, firearms, and comparable weapons while intoxicated on alcohol or drugs, or any combination of both.
  • Boating while intoxicated — Virginia law also prohibits operation of boats, vessels, and other watercraft while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If arrested for boating while intoxicated, you face class 1 misdemeanor charges which may include fines, license suspension, and jail time.

When it comes to DUI offenses, you have a lot to lose. Take a wrong step and you could wind up with a criminal record and a suspended license. An experienced lawyer can protect your rights and help you navigate the road ahead.

Contact a respected Virginia DUI defense attorney

The NoVa Law Firm delivers trusted guidance on issues such as traffic violations, DUI, drug charges, and other criminal law matters. Call today at (703) 352-9347 for skilled legal help with your DUI, DWI or reckless driving case, or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.

Eric Clingan
About the Author: Eric Clingan
Eric Clingan is an experienced Criminal Defense attorney and the founder of the NoVA Law firm. He focuses his practice on defending residents of Northern Virginia charged with DUIs, reckless driving, drug charges, and other criminal accusations.