Virginia, like all states, has some very specific alcohol-related laws that residents and visitors, alike, should know before heading out to buy alcohol or hanging out at the local pub. The more you know about the laws in Virginia, the less likely you are to find yourself in legal trouble.
Sale and Purchase of Alcohol in Virginia
Virginia law states that you may buy and sell beer, wine and liquor in grocery and non-state run liquor stores seven days a week from 6:00 a.m. until midnight. State-run liquor stores may sell spirits Monday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. and Sundays noon until 6:00 p.m. Bars must close their doors at 2:00 a.m. seven days a week; one unique aspect of Virginia law is that Virginia bars must make at least 45% of their revenue from food sales, so every bar in the state is really considered a restaurant, too.
DUI Law in Virginia
DUI is the most common charge in the state of Virginia, and DUI is taken very seriously here. The penalties for a DUI in Virginia get more severe with each offense, and unfortunately, people who are charged with one DUI sometimes do it again and get convicted for repeat offenses. If you value your life as you know it and your freedom, don’t drink and drive, but if you do, and you get arrested by Virginia law enforcement and then convicted in court, you can expect:
- 12 months in jail
- $2,500 in fines
- Mandatory alcohol education class
- Mandatory one-year driver’s license suspension
- Increased car insurance premiums (SR-22)
- Ignition Interlock Device in some cases
Underage DUI in Virginia
A DUI charge for an adult driver is very serious, but the DUI laws for drivers under the age of 21 is even more restrictive and severe. According to Virginia law, any driver under the age of 21 with a blood alcohol concentration of over 0.02% can be charged with a DUI because it’s assumed alcohol has been illegally consumed. A DUI charge for drivers under the age of 21 is a class 1 misdemeanor conviction, which is punishable by up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500. The convicted driver will lose his driver’s license for up to 12 months and will likely be ordered to perform 50 hours of community service.
If you are arrested and charged with DUI or another alcohol-related offense in Virginia, please contact a criminal defense attorney right away.