VA gun law - alocohol

Discussion in 'Legal and Activism' started by PeteZaHut, Jan 4, 2011.

  1. PeteZaHut

    PeteZaHut Member

    Does anyone know anything about VA gun law. This link,, near the bottom says "It is unlawful to hunt with a firearm while under the influence of an intoxicant or narcotic drug." I assume being under the influence of an intoxicant means having ANY amount of alcohol in your system. Is there some other piece of law that I am not seeing because this only seems to apply to hunting. What about drinking and guns at other times? The main thing that comes to mind is what if someone has a drink at his home, then decides to go out somewhere and carries concealed. He wouldn't be anywhere close to being drunk, but he would be under the influence of an intoxicant at some level.
  2. mpd8488

    mpd8488 New Member

    ^^That is the law pertaining to concealed handguns and alcohol.

    There is nothing specific that I know of in the code pertaining to drinking while openly carrying. However, if you do chose to do so you are taking a great risk. If you are visibly drunk with a gun on your hip it is sure to attract the attention of the police and I would be willing to bet that a good prosecutor could make some other serious charges stick beyond a drunk in public if you are drinking while carrying (things like reckless endangerment, brandishing, etc).

    Despite all the uproar in the media about concealed handguns in bars, you have been able legally drink while openly carrying in a restaurants that serve alcohol (there is no such thing as a bar here) in Virginia for quite some time (if the owner lets you). Some open carriers chose to have the occasional beer with a meal. It is one of the most highly controversial things to do while open carrying and it is important to consider how it reflects on the gun carrying community.

    Some believe that society's acceptance of open carry is in too fragile a state to risk anti gunners seeing us carrying and drinking or believe that drinking and carrying is just a bad idea. Others believe that open carrying is about normalizing gun carriers in everyday life and that this should not exclude any of the activities in which Americans commonly partake. They believe that drinking a beer, a pretty common activity, should not automatically override your right to defend yourself.

    I'm not a lawyer, so none of this should be construed as legal advice of any kind, merely some observations and personal opinions

  3. JonM

    JonM Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

    you will have to find the statute in VA that defines "under the influence" i guarantee there is one. that will tell you what the limit is.

    in wisconsin its the same limit that will you a dui prize if you were operating a motor vehicle. mileage varies state to state.

    personal opinion:

    it is always a very bad idea to drink any ammount of alcohol when handling firearms.
  4. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

    Would be a good question for VA State Police. As I read that code section, a detectable BA is a violation. Being diabetic, not an issue for me- can't drink.
  5. mpd8488

    mpd8488 New Member

    I don't think you will find a statute that defines under the influence. While driving the absolute limit is .08 BAC, but signs of intoxication can be enough to convict. If you can't stand up straight, even if you blow a .07 at the station, that would probably be enough evidence to convict

    There aren't any set limits like that for just walking down the street. If you are going to throw a gun into the mix, I would be willing to bet that most judges would convict if the officer testifies that he smelled alcohol on his/her breath without any field sobriety, blood, or breath tests. When it comes to booze, I bet "officer experience" is plenty for a lot of judges
  6. masterPsmith

    masterPsmith New Member

    If you are so worried about it, don't do it. Use the common sense God gave you and stay out of trouble. If you're going to hunt, don't drink. If you're going to carry, don't drink. If you're going to drink, leave your gun home or don't hunt. Simple as that........................

  7. PeteZaHut

    PeteZaHut Member

    I found this:

    "J1. 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, shall be 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 section 18.2-36.1, maiming in violation of Section 18.2-51.4, driving while intoxicated in violation of Section 18.2-266, public intoxication in violation of Section 18.2-388, or driving while intoxicated in violation of Section 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."

    Can someone please explain the middle part.
  8. cpttango30

    cpttango30 New Member

    If you shoot someone or get caught driving drunk. That can nail you for a class 1 misdemeanor.
  9. corrinavatan

    corrinavatan New Member

    The part about "prima facie evidence" means that if you are convicted of any of the following crimes while carrying a handgun in a public place, you will also be convicted/found guilty of the class 1 misdemeanor.

    Basically, it means, "if you are carrying, and you also drink and drive while carry, there is almost no way you're going to get off the misdemeanor if you are convicted of the DUI". Essentially, if you're DUI and carrying, you have no argument that you shouldn't be convicted of the class 1.

    Prima facie evidence means "self-evident or obvious in nature." Funny, because it's a latin term that most people have to look up to understand.
  10. TXnorton

    TXnorton New Member

    As best I can recall from my CHL class (in Texas), the instructor warned us that there is no defined allowable blood alcohol limit specified in the concealed handgun laws. This was expained to mean that if you are out for dinner and have a few beers or marguartitas and you are under the legal limit for a DWI, you "could" still be in violation of the law prohibiting being under the influence while carrying concealed. It was explained that if a LEO chose to do so, you could be charged with being in violation of the CHL laws and potentially lose your CHL.
  11. steve666

    steve666 New Member