Virginia Alcohol Sale and Purchase Crimes

Under Virginia law, most alcohol-related sales and purchase violations are misdemeanor offenses. A conspiracy to violate Virginia’s alcohol sale laws, however, is a felony offense.

Persons to Whom Alcoholic Beverages May Not Be Sold in Virginia

It is unlawful in Virginia to sell alcohol to the following groups of people:

(i) less than 21 years of age

(ii) interdicted

(iii) intoxicated

The sale of alcohol to anyone on this list is a Class 1 misdemeanor offense punished by up to one year in jail and up to a $2,500 fine.

Purchasing alcohol on behalf of someone on this list is also a Class 1 misdemeanor offense punished by up to one year in jail, up to 12 months loss of driving priveleges, and up to a $2,500 fine.

Virginia Minor in Possession Law (MIP)

Under Virginia law, it is unlawful for a minor under the age of 21 to consume, purchase, or possess any alcoholic beverage or even attempt to do so.

Virginia law has both minimum and maximum punishments for a conviction of the Minor in Possession law. At maximum, the offense is punished by up to one year in jail, 12 months of driver’s license suspension, and up to a $2,500 fine. At a minimum, a conviction is punished by a mandatory minimum fine of $500 or a mandatory minimum of 50 hours of community service as a condition of probation supervision and the suspension of your driver’s license for a period of six months. First-time offender treatment is a discretionary option for the judge for those charged with a first offense, meaning not previously convicted of underage consumption, purchase, or possession of alcoholic beverages.

It is also illegal to present a fake ID to buy alcohol. Presenting a fake ID to buy alcohol is a Class 1 misdemeanor offense punished by up to one year in jail, 12 months of driver’s license suspension, and up to a $2,500 fine. At a minimum, a conviction is punished by a mandatory minimum fine of $500 or a mandatory minimum of 50 hours of community service as a condition of probation supervision and the suspension of your driver’s license for a period of six months.



Proof of Legal Age

Anyone in Virginia who sells alcohol to a person under age 21 without requiring the minor to present bona fide evidence of legal age indicating that the individual is 21 years of age or older can be found guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor offense, punishable by a fine up to $500.

Unauthorized Seller: Unlawful Sale and Purchase of Alcohol

It is both illegal to buy and sell alcohol without authorization from the Virginia government. Both selling alcohol without a license and buying alcohol from an unauthorized seller are Class 1 misdemeanor offenses punished by up to one year in jail and up to a $2,500 fine.


Alexandria Virginia Possession of Alcohol by a Minor Charges DROPPED

Underage Possession of Alcohol by Minor to be DISMISSED


Virginia Law

§ 4.1-304. Persons to whom alcoholic beverages may not be sold; proof of legal age; penalty.

A. No person shall, except pursuant to subdivisions 1 through 5 of § 4.1-200, sell any alcoholic beverages to any individual when at the time of such sale he knows or has reason to believe that the individual to whom the sale is made is (i) less than 21 years of age, (ii) interdicted, or (iii) intoxicated. Any person convicted of a violation of this subsection is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.
B. Any person who sells, except pursuant to subdivisions 1 through 5 of § 4.1-200, any alcoholic beverage to an individual who is less than 21 years of age and at the time of the sale does not require the individual to present bona fide evidence of legal age indicating that the individual is 21 years of age or older is guilty of a violation of this subsection. Bona fide evidence of legal age is limited to any evidence that is or reasonably appears to be an unexpired driver’s license issued by any state of the United States or the District of Columbia, military identification card, United States passport or foreign government visa, unexpired special identification card issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles, or any other valid government-issued identification card bearing the individual’s photograph, signature, height, weight, and date of birth, or which bears a photograph that reasonably appears to match the appearance of the purchaser. A student identification card shall not constitute bona fide evidence of legal age for purposes of this subsection. Any person convicted of a violation of this subsection is guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor. Notwithstanding the provisions of § 4.1-202, the Board shall not take administrative action against a licensee for the conduct of his employee who violates this subsection.
C. No person shall be convicted of both subsections A and B for the same sale.

§ 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.
B. No person under the age of 21 years shall use or attempt to use any (i) altered, fictitious, facsimile, or simulated license to operate a motor vehicle; (ii) altered, fictitious, facsimile, or simulated document, including but not limited to a birth certificate or student identification card; or (iii) motor vehicle driver’s license or other document issued under Chapter 3 (§ 46.2-300 et seq.) of Title 46.2 or the comparable law of another jurisdiction, birth certificate, or student identification card of another person in order to establish a false identification or false age for himself to consume, purchase, or attempt to consume or purchase an alcoholic beverage.
C. Any person found guilty of a violation of this section is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor, and upon conviction (i) such person shall be ordered to pay a mandatory minimum fine of $500 or ordered to perform a mandatory minimum of 50 hours of community service as a condition of probation supervision and (ii) the license to operate a motor vehicle in the Commonwealth of any such person age 18 or older shall be suspended for a period of not less than six months and not more than one year; the license to operate a motor vehicle in the Commonwealth of any juvenile shall be handled in accordance with the provisions of § 16.1-278.9. The court, in its discretion and upon a demonstration of hardship, may authorize an adult convicted of a violation of this section the use of a restricted license to operate a motor vehicle in accordance with the provisions of subsection E of § 18.2-271.1 or when referred to a local community-based probation services agency established pursuant to Article 9 (§ 9.1-173 et seq.) of Chapter 1 of Title 9.1. During the period of license suspension, the court may require an adult who is issued a restricted license under the provisions of this subsection to be (a) monitored by an alcohol safety action program or (b) supervised by a local community-based probation services agency established pursuant to Article 9 (§ 9.1-173 et seq.) of Chapter 1 of Title 9.1, if one has been established for the locality. The alcohol safety action program or local community-based probation services agency shall report to the court any violation of the terms of the restricted license, the required alcohol safety action program monitoring or local community-based probation services and any condition related thereto or any failure to remain alcohol-free during the suspension period.D. Any alcoholic beverage purchased or possessed in violation of this section shall be deemed contraband and forfeited to the Commonwealth in accordance with § 4.1-338.E. Any retail licensee who in good faith promptly notifies the Board or any state or local law-enforcement agency of a violation or suspected violation of this section shall be accorded immunity from an administrative penalty for a violation of § 4.1-304.

F. When any adult who has not previously been convicted of underaged consumption, purchase or possession of alcoholic beverages in Virginia or any other state or the United States is before the court, the court may, upon entry of a plea of guilty or not guilty, if the facts found by the court would justify a finding of guilt of a violation of subsection A, without entering a judgment of guilt and with the consent of the accused, defer further proceedings and place him on probation subject to appropriate conditions. Such conditions may include the imposition of the license suspension and restricted license provisions in subsection C. However, in all such deferred proceedings, the court shall require the accused to enter a treatment or education program or both, if available, that in the opinion of the court best suits the needs of the accused. If the accused is placed on local community-based probation, the program or services shall be located in any of the judicial districts served by the local community-based probation services agency or in any judicial district ordered by the court when the placement is with an alcohol safety action program. The services shall be provided by (i) a program licensed by the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, (ii) certified by the Commission on VASAP, or (iii) by a program or services made available through a community-based probation services agency established pursuant to Article 9 (§ 9.1-173 et seq.) of Chapter 1 of Title 9.1, if one has been established for the locality. When an offender is ordered to a local community-based probation services rather than the alcohol safety action program, the local community-based probation services agency shall be responsible for providing for services or referring the offender to education or treatment services as a condition of probation.

Upon violation of a condition, the court may enter an adjudication of guilt and proceed as otherwise provided. Upon fulfillment of the conditions, the court shall discharge the person and dismiss the proceedings against him without an adjudication of guilt. A discharge and dismissal hereunder shall be treated as a conviction for the purpose of applying this section in any subsequent proceedings.

When any juvenile is found to have committed a violation of subsection A, the disposition of the case shall be handled according to the provisions of Article 9 (§ 16.1-278 et seq.) of Chapter 11 of Title 16.1.

§ 4.1-302. Illegal sale of alcoholic beverages in general; penalty.

If any person who is not licensed sells any alcoholic beverages except as permitted by this subtitle, he shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.In the event of a second or subsequent conviction under this section, a jail sentence of no less than thirty days shall be imposed and in no case be suspended.

§ 4.1-303. Purchase of alcoholic beverages from person not authorized to sell; penalty.

If any person buys alcoholic beverages from any person other than the Board, a government store or a person authorized under this subtitle to sell alcoholic beverages, he shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

§ 4.1-306. Purchasing alcoholic beverages for one to whom they may not be sold; penalty; forfeiture.

A. Any person who purchases alcoholic beverages for another person, and at the time of such purchase knows or has reason to believe that the person for whom the alcoholic beverage was purchased was (i) interdicted, or (ii) intoxicated, is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.A1. Any person who purchases for, or otherwise gives, provides, or assists in the provision of alcoholic beverages to another person, when he knows or has reason to know that such person was less than 21 years of age, 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 when possession of an alcoholic beverage is necessary in the performance of his duties, is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.B. In addition to any other penalty authorized by law, any person found guilty of a violation of this section shall have his license to operate a motor vehicle suspended for a period of not more than one year. The court, in its discretion, may authorize any person convicted of a violation of this section the use of a restricted permit to operate a motor vehicle in accordance with the provisions of subsection D of § 16.1-278.9 or subsection E of § 18.2-271.1.

C. Any alcoholic beverages purchased in violation of this section shall be deemed contraband and forfeited to the Commonwealth in accordance with § 4.1-338.

§ 4.1-301. Conspiracy to violate § 4.1-300; penalty.

If two or more persons conspire together to do any act which is in violation of § 4.1-300, and one or more of these persons does any act to effect the object of the conspiracy, each of the parties to such conspiracy shall be guilty of a Class 6 felony.
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