How a DUI Will Affect Your Concealed Weapon Permit

There are a number of consequences associated with a DUI (driving under the influence) or DWI (driving while intoxicated) conviction in Virginia. These include loss or suspension of driving privileges, fines, required installation of an ignition interlock device in your car and—depending on your blood alcohol content and number of previous convictions—jail time.

What you may not have known is that under Virginia law, a DUI conviction also affects concealed weapon permits.

Specifically, under Virginia Code 18.2-308.09: “An individual who has been convicted of a violation of 18.2-266 or a substantially similar local ordinance, or of public drunkenness, or of a substantially similar offense under the laws of any other state, the District of Columbia, the United States, or its territories within the three-year period immediately preceding the application…” shall be deemed disqualified from obtaining a permit.

Not only can you be barred from obtaining a concealed weapon permit, you can lose the one you already have

If you already have a concealed weapon permit, a DUI conviction can mean revocation or suspension of your permit. Under Disqualifications for a Concealed Handgun Permit, one reason for loss of a permit includes:

An individual “who is a habitual drunkard as determined pursuant to 4.1-333.”

The use of the term “habitual drunkard” was unsuccessfully challenged in the U.S. Supreme Court in 2017 as being “Constitutionally vague.” In 2018 a unanimous ruling by a three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found that “habitual drunkards” includes those “who have been convicted of drunk driving.”

Suspension or revocation?

The answer to whether your permit will be suspended or outright revoked is, “it depends.” If you have been charged but not yet convicted, your permit is suspended. According to the law: “An individual who has a felony charge pending or a charge pending for an offense listed in subdivision 14 or 15 of 18.2-308.09, holding a permit for a concealed handgun, may have the permit suspended by the court before which such charge is pending or by the court that issued the permit.”

Your permit will be revoked if you are: “…convicted of an offense that would disqualify that person from obtaining a permit under 18.2-308.09 or who violates subsection C of 18.2-308.02 shall forfeit his permit for a concealed handgun and surrender it to the court. Upon receipt by the Central Criminal Records Exchange of a record of the arrest, conviction, or occurrence of any other event that would disqualify a person from obtaining a concealed handgun permit under 18.2-308.09, the Central Criminal Records Exchange shall notify the court having issued the permit of such disqualifying arrest, conviction, or other event. Upon receipt of such notice of a conviction, the court shall revoke the permit of a person disqualified pursuant to this subsection and shall promptly notify the State Police and the person whose permit was revoked of the revocation.”

Contact our Fairfax, Virginia law firm with your questions and concerns regarding a DUI conviction and your rights as a concealed carry permit holder

The relationship between a DUI conviction and your right to get and retain a concealed carry permit is a complex legal issue. Our best DUI defense lawyer has experience and skill in protecting the rights of lawful concealed weapon permit holders in Fairfax County and throughout Northern Virginia. For more information, please contact us online or call our office at (703) 352-9347.

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.