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Underage Possession of Alcohol
VA Code 4.1-305

  • No person to whom an alcoholic beverage may not lawfully be sold shall purchase or possess any alcoholic beverage.
  • Any person found guilty of a violation of this section shall be guilty of a class 1 misdemeanor (up to 12 months in jail and/or up to $2500 in fines); and upon conviction, such person’s license to operate a motor vehicle in the commonwealth may be suspended for a period of not more than one year.

Possession of alcohol by persons under the age of 21 no longer requires that the person be holding the beverage or container in their hand. Recent Virginia Court of Appeals rulings have made it clear that possession included alcohol which had been consumed and is in one’s body. The evidence of this is based upon the officer’s investigation, not on the existence of a cup or other container. If you have consumed any alcoholic beverages illegally and you come into contact with a Law Enforcement Officer, you can be charged with under aged possession.

Purchase Alcohol for Another
VA Code 4.1-306

If any person purchases alcoholic beverages for another person, and at the time of the purchase knows or has reason to believe that the person for whom the alcoholic beverage was purchased was (a) less than 21 years of age, (b) interdicted, or (c) intoxicated, he/she shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor (up to 12 months in jail and/or up to $2500 in fines). 

Possession of Fictitious Identification
VA Code 18.2-204.2.

Manufacture, sale, etc., or possession of fictitious, facsimile or simulated official license or identification; penalty.

  1. Except as provided in subsection D of § 18.2-204.1, it shall be unlawful for any person to manufacture, advertise for sale, sell or possess any fictitious, facsimile or simulated driver's license issued by any state, territory or possession of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico or any foreign country or government; United States Armed Forces identification card; United States passport or foreign government visa; Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles special identification card; official identification issued by any other federal, state or foreign government agency; or official university or college student identification card, or in any way reproduce any identification card or facsimile thereof in such a manner that it could be mistaken for a valid license or identification of any type specified in this subsection.
  2. Any person manufacturing, advertising for sale, selling or reproducing such card or facsimile thereof shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.
  3. Any person possessing any such card or facsimile thereof shall be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.
  4. The provisions of this section shall not preclude an election to prosecute under § 18.2-172, except to prosecute for forgery or uttering of such license or identification card or facsimile thereof as proof of age.

1980, c. 281; 1989, c. 705; 1992, c. 531; 2006, cc. 445, 484; 2011, c. 401.

DUI Penalties
VA Code 18.2-270

(a) Except as otherwise provided herein, any person violating any provision of 18.2-266 shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. If the person’s blood alcohol level as indicated by the chemical test administered as provided in the article was at least 0.20, but not more than 0.25, he shall be confined in jail for an additional minimum, mandatory period of five days or, if the level was more than 0.25, for an additional minimum, mandatory period of ten days. The additional minimum, mandatory period of confinement shall not be suspended by the court.

* For sections (b and c), please refer to the Code of Virginia 18.2-270 (legis.state.va.us)

(d) In addition to the penalty otherwise authorized by this section or 16.1-278.9, any person convicted of a violation of 18.2-266 committed while transporting a person seventeen years of age or younger shall be (i) fined an additional minimum of $500 and not more than $1000 and (ii) sentenced to perform forty hours of community service in a program benefiting children or, for a subsequent offense, eighty hours of community service in such a program. 

DUI (Under 21)
VA Code 18.2-270.

Penalty for driving while intoxicated; subsequent offense; prior conviction.

  1. Except as otherwise provided herein, any person violating any provision of § 18.2-266 shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor with a mandatory minimum fine of $250. If the person's blood alcohol level as indicated by the chemical test administered as provided in this article or by any other scientifically reliable chemical test performed on whole blood under circumstances reliably establishing the identity of the person who is the source of the blood and the accuracy of the results (i) was at least 0.15, but not more than 0.20, he shall be confined in jail for an additional mandatory minimum period of five days or, (ii) if the level was more than 0.20, for an additional mandatory minimum period of 10 days.
  2. 1. Any person convicted of a second offense committed within less than five years after a prior offense under § 18.2-266 shall upon conviction of the second offense be punished by a mandatory minimum fine of $500 and by confinement in jail for not less than one month nor more than one year. Twenty days of such confinement shall be a mandatory minimum sentence.
  3. Any person convicted of a second offense committed within a period of five to 10 years of a prior offense under § 18.2-266 shall upon conviction of the second offense be punished by a mandatory minimum fine of $500 and by confinement in jail for not less than one month. Ten days of such confinement shall be a mandatory minimum sentence.
  4. Upon conviction of a second offense within 10 years of a prior offense, if the person's blood alcohol level as indicated by the chemical test administered as provided in this article or by any other scientifically reliable chemical test performed on whole blood under circumstances reliably establishing the identity of the person who is the source of the blood and the accuracy of the results (i) was at least 0.15, but not more than 0.20, he shall be confined in jail for an additional mandatory minimum period of 10 days or, (ii) if the level was more than 0.20, for an additional mandatory minimum period of 20 days. In addition, such person shall be fined a mandatory minimum fine of $500.
  5. 1. Any person convicted of three offenses of § 18.2-266 committed within a 10-year period shall upon conviction of the third offense be guilty of a Class 6 felony. The sentence of any person convicted of three offenses of § 18.2-266 committed within a 10-year period shall include a mandatory minimum sentence of 90 days, unless the three offenses were committed within a five-year period, in which case the sentence shall include a mandatory minimum sentence of confinement for six months. In addition, such person shall be fined a mandatory minimum fine of $1,000.
  6. A person who has been convicted of § 18.2-36.1, 18.2-36.2, 18.2-51.4, 18.2-51.5, or a felony violation of § 18.2-266 shall upon conviction of a subsequent violation of § 18.2-266 be guilty of a Class 6 felony. The punishment of any person convicted of such a subsequent violation of § 18.2-266 shall include a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of one year and a mandatory minimum fine of $1,000.
  7. The punishment of any person convicted of a fourth or subsequent offense of § 18.2-266 committed within a 10-year period shall, upon conviction, include a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of one year. In addition, such person shall be fined a mandatory minimum fine of $1,000.
  8. The vehicle solely owned and operated by the accused during the commission of a felony violation of § 18.2-266 shall be subject to seizure and forfeiture. After an arrest for a felony violation of § 18.2-266, the Commonwealth may file an information in accordance with § 19.2-386.34.
  9. In addition to the penalty otherwise authorized by this section or § 16.1-278.9, any person convicted of a violation of § 18.2-266 committed while transporting a person 17 years of age or younger shall be (i) fined an additional minimum of $500 and not more than $1,000 and (ii) sentenced to a mandatory minimum period of confinement of five days.
  10. For the purpose of determining the number of offenses committed by, and the punishment appropriate for, a person under this section, an adult conviction of any person, or finding of guilty in the case of a juvenile, under the following shall be considered a conviction of § 18.2-266: (i) the provisions of § 18.2-36.1 or the substantially similar laws of any other state or of the United States, (ii) the provisions of §§ 18.2-51.4, 18.2-266, former § 18.1-54 (formerly § 18-75), the ordinance of any county, city or town in this Commonwealth or the laws of any other state or of the United States substantially similar to the provisions of § 18.2-51.4, or § 18.2-266, or (iii) the provisions of subsection A of § 46.2-341.24 or the substantially similar laws of any other state or of the United States.
  11. Mandatory minimum punishments imposed pursuant to this section shall be cumulative, and mandatory minimum terms of confinement shall be served consecutively. However, in no case shall punishment imposed hereunder exceed the applicable statutory maximum Class 1 misdemeanor term of confinement or fine upon conviction of a first or second offense, or Class 6 felony term of confinement or fine upon conviction of a third or subsequent offense.

Code 1950, § 18.1-58; 1960, c. 358; 1962, c. 302; 1975, cc. 14, 15; 1982, c. 301; 1983, c. 504; 1989, c. 705; 1991, cc. 370, 710; 1992, c. 891; 1993, c. 972; 1997, c. 691; 1999, cc. 743, 945, 949, 987; 2000, cc. 784, 956, 958, 980, 982; 2002, c. 759; 2003, cc. 573, 591; 2004, cc. 461, 937, 946, 950, 957, 958, 962; 2006, cc. 82, 314; 2009, c. 229; 2012, cc. 283, 756; 2013, cc. 415, 655; 2014, c. 707.

DUI (Under 21):
VA Code 18.2-266.1. Persons under age 21 driving after illegally consuming alcohol; penalty.

  1. It shall be unlawful for any person under the age of 21 to operate any motor vehicle after illegally consuming alcohol. Any such person with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.02 percent or more by weight by volume or 0.02 grams or more per 210 liters of breath but less than 0.08 by weight by volume or less than 0.08 grams per 210 liters of breath as indicated by a chemical test administered as provided in this article shall be in violation of this section.
  2. A violation of this section is a Class 1 misdemeanor. Punishment shall include (i) forfeiture of such person's license to operate a motor vehicle for a period of one year from the date of conviction and (ii) a mandatory minimum fine of $500 or performance of a mandatory minimum of 50 hours of community service. This suspension period shall be in addition to the suspension period provided under § 46.2-391.2. The penalties and license forfeiture provisions set forth in §§ 16.1-278.9, 18.2-270 and 18.2-271 shall not apply to a violation of this section. Any person convicted of a violation of this section shall be eligible to attend an Alcohol Safety Action Program under the provisions of § 18.2-271.1 and may, in the discretion of the court, be issued a restricted license during the term of license suspension.
  3. Notwithstanding §§ 16.1-278.8 and 16.1-278.9, upon adjudicating a juvenile delinquent based upon a violation of this section, the juvenile and domestic relations district court shall order disposition as provided in subsection B.

1994, cc. 359, 363; 1995, c. 31; 2003, c. 605; 2008, c. 729; 2009, c. 660; 2011, cc. 134, 683.