Virginia law creates an independent class 1 misdemeanor offense, punished by up to a year in jail and up to a $2,500 fine, for carrying a legally concealed handgun while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Va Law 18.2-308.012 carves out an easy case for the government trying to prove this charge by allowing a conviction for a DUI under 18.2-388 or a Drunk in Public charge under 18.2-388 to serve as the basis for this accusation.

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This article is written by criminal defense attorney Marina Medvin, owner of a nationally-revered law firm with law offices in Alexandria, Virginia and in Fairfax, Virginia. Ms. Medvin represents gun owners charged with firearm violations in Alexandria, Fairfax, Arlington, Vienna, and Falls Church.

This law, however, does permit for a defendant to rebut or argue against the government in his or her defense, even in the face of a conviction for the DUI and Drunk in Public charges.

Read more about Weapons Law here: Virginia Firearm & Weapon Charges and Hunting Laws: Defense Lawyer’s Explanation of Brandishing, Reckless Handling of a Firearm, and Hunting Offenses

§ 18.2-308.012. Prohibited conduct.

A. Any person permitted to carry a concealed handgun who is under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs while carrying such handgun in a public place is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. Conviction of any of the following offenses shall be prima facie evidence, subject to rebuttal, that the person is “under the influence” for purposes of this section: manslaughter in violation of § 18.2-36.1, maiming in violation of § 18.2-51.4, driving while intoxicated in violation of § 18.2-266, public intoxication in violation of § 18.2-388, or driving while intoxicated in violation of § 46.2-341.24. Upon such conviction that court shall revoke the person’s permit for a concealed handgun and promptly notify the issuing circuit court. A person convicted of a violation of this subsection shall be ineligible to apply for a concealed handgun permit for a period of five years.

B. No person who carries a concealed handgun onto the premises of any restaurant or club as defined in § 4.1-100 for which a license to sell and serve alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption has been granted by the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Board under Title 4.1 may consume an alcoholic beverage while on the premises. A person who carries a concealed handgun onto the premises of such a restaurant or club and consumes alcoholic beverages is guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor. However, nothing in this subsection shall apply to a federal, state, or local law-enforcement officer.


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