FAIRFAX COUNTY, VIRGINIA: Misdemeanor Possession of Open Container in Vehicle (VA Code 18.2-323.1) was DROPPED at the first court appearance. Related Underage Possession of Alcohol by Minor misdemeanor charge (VA Code 4.1-305) was not pursued.

Read more about Juvenile Criminal Defense here: Virginia Juvenile Criminal Defense Lawyer’s Explanation of Laws, Penalties and Procedures for Juvenile Charges: Possession of Alcohol by a Minor, Grand Larceny, Petit Larceny, Possession of Marijuana, and Other Offenses

§ 18.2-323.1. Drinking while operating a motor vehicle; possession of open container while operating a motor vehicle and presumption; penalty.

A. It shall be unlawful for any person to consume an alcoholic beverage while driving a motor vehicle upon a public highway of this Commonwealth.

B. A rebuttable presumption that the driver has consumed an alcoholic beverage in violation of this section shall be created if (i) an open container is located within the passenger area of the motor vehicle, (ii) the alcoholic beverage in the open container has been at least partially removed and (iii) the appearance, conduct, odor of alcohol, speech or other physical characteristic of the driver of the motor vehicle may be reasonably associated with the consumption of an alcoholic beverage.

For the purposes of this section:

“Open container” means any vessel containing an alcoholic beverage, except the originally sealed manufacturer’s container.

“Passenger area” means the area designed to seat the driver of any motor vehicle, any area within the reach of the driver, including an unlocked glove compartment, and the area designed to seat passengers. This term shall not include the trunk of any passenger vehicle, the area behind the last upright seat of a passenger van, station wagon, hatchback, sport utility vehicle or any similar vehicle, the living quarters of a motor home, or the passenger area of a motor vehicle designed, maintained or used primarily for the transportation of persons for compensation, including a bus, taxi, or limousine, while engaged in the transportation of such persons.

C. A violation of this section is punishable as a Class 4 misdemeanor.

§ 4.1-305. Purchasing or possessing alcoholic beverages unlawful in certain cases; venue; exceptions; penalty; forfeiture; deferred proceedings; treatment and education programs and services.

A. No person to whom an alcoholic beverage may not lawfully be sold under § 4.1-304 shall consume, purchase or possess, or attempt to consume, purchase or possess, any alcoholic beverage, except (i) pursuant to subdivisions 1 through 7 of § 4.1-200; (ii) where possession of the alcoholic beverages by a person less than 21 years of age is due to such person’s making a delivery of alcoholic beverages in pursuance of his employment or an order of his parent; or (iii) by any state, federal, or local law-enforcement officer or his agent when possession of an alcoholic beverage is necessary in the performance of his duties. Such person may be prosecuted either in the county or city in which the alcohol was possessed or consumed, or in the county or city in which the person exhibits evidence of physical indicia of consumption of alcohol. It shall be an affirmative defense to a charge of a violation of this subsection if the defendant shows that such consumption or possession was pursuant to subdivision 7 of § 4.1-200.

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