By Dan McDermott
Warren County Report
Many new laws will take effect on July 1st in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Among them are:
- Assisted living facilities may provide alcoholic beverages to residents in dining areas or their private rooms without an ABC license.
- ABC stores may offer wine and liquor tastings in certain circumstances
- Tightening regulation of rates charged for motor vehicle title loans
- Courts may appoint a vocational expert to determine the earning potential of a person when it in dispute over child or spousal support
- Potential jurors have to show photo ID or sign a form to verify their identity
- DUI driving suspensions will run consecutively with any other suspensions ordered by the court
- An infant born but still attached by an umbilical cord is still a separate independent person in homicide cases. (Stems from a tragic Lynchburg, VA case.)
- Persons with a concealed weapons permit can carry a concealed weapon into a restaurant that serves alcohol but cannot drink.
- Anyone who can legally carry a firearm can keep a loaded handgun in their vehicle provided it is locked in a secure container or compartment.
- A pharmacist may require proof of identification before dispensing Schedule II drugs and must keep records of who gets them.
- No Virginia citizen can be required to obtain individual health insurance. (This is the subject of dispute between the Commonwealth and the federal government.)
- For zoning and other purposes, localities must treat an assisted living facility with 8 or fewer elderly and/or disabled residents as a single family residence.
- Drivers on a 4-lane highway MUST move over when passing public safety or tow/construction vehicles displaying blue, red or amber lights.
- New license plate option are offered including a ‘buy local’ plate and one advocating for pro choice.
- Speed limits on highways can be raised to 70 mph.
- All localities can regulate and prohibit sales, fundraising and the distribution of handbills, advertising and literature on highways and medians.
A good rundown of some of the the laws that passed and those that failed this year is in the document above.
[Updated to correct DUI suspensions will run consecutively not concurrently.]