New Virginia laws take effect July 1

New Virginia laws take effect July 1

Nearly 900 bills passed in the Virginia General Assembly during this year’s winter session, and most of them take effect this Friday, July 1. The new laws address a range of topics from foreign adoptions to Chinese drywall, but the measures that will affect the greatest number of Virginia citizens may be those related to Alcoholic Beverage Control.

Starting Friday, Virginia law will require harsher penalties for violators of ABC regulations. Teens who drink and drive, for example, will face higher fines and lose their driver’s license for a full year. Under the “old” law, an underage driver with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.02 percent or higher would lose his or her license for six months and face fines of a maximum of $500. As of July 1, anyone under the age of 21 found driving with a BAC of 0.02 percent or higher will lose his or her license for a year and face either a minimum $500 fine or 50 hours of community service.

The changes also address Virginians over the age of 21 who facilitate underage drinking. As of July 1, the law states that “anyone who purchases alcoholic beverages for or otherwise helps someone they know or have reason to believe is younger than 21 obtain or consumealcohol is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor,” punishable by up to 12 months in jail and a $2,500 fine. The current law does not address facilitating consumption or include “reason to believe” that an individual is underage.

For more information about DUI or alcohol and traffic-related offenses, or to request representation, contact the attorneys at Paullin Law Firm at 804-464-3765.

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