Some new bills have been introduced to Virginia lawmakers this week ranging from texting to carrying guns while drinking. At least one is expected to die in House subcommittee though the outlook is brighter for another. Here’s a quick rundown of what we can expect from the proposed laws:
SB1395 is a bill to prohibit carrying a firearm while drinking. This legislation arose out of the law that allowed people with a concealed gun permit to carry their weapons into bars and restaurants. While that law mandated those concealed weapons-carriers didn’t drink, this proposed legislation would apply to everyone else.
Carrying a weapon while drinking would be a misdemeanor if this law were to pass. It passed through the Senate Committee and now heads to the floor. However, this one is expected to die in a Republican controlled House subcommittee.
SB1047 and SB1042 may have a better chance of making it into the law books. These proposed bills make cell phone use by teens on a provisional license a primary offense. Likewise, texting while driving would become a primary offense.
By making these violations primary offenses, an officer wouldn’t have to pull someone over for another violation before ticketing them for these. In other words, if the officer believed you were texting while driving, you could be pulled and ticketed.
Additional proposed legislation would affect the reporting of fatalities in event of a fatal police pursuit and emergency vehicles usage of sirens and lights when approaching lighted intersections.
All of these bills are now headed to the Senate floor and we should know within in the coming weeks if they will move on to House committees.
You can imagine if these four laws are proposed in a relatively short amount of time, how many pass lawmakers’ desks in an entire session and how many changes are made to Virginia criminal charges. For this reason, among others, understanding the criminal courts and the violations heard within their walls is an ever-changing and sometimes confusing topic.
If you are facing criminal charges, you can’t possibly be expected to understand all the ins and outs of the criminal justice system—that’s what your defense attorney is for. Contact our offices today if you are up against criminal charges in the Virginia courts and in need of a free consultation on your case.