Virginians and commuters who frequently pass through the state should take a few minutes to update themselves on the many recent changes to local traffic law. Over a hundred laws were introduced or modified, with changes going into effect along with the start of the fiscal year on July 1, 2017. Some of the changes reduce penalties for minor offenses, while others will entail significant changes in normal driving behavior for everyone on the road.
Traffic Laws Regarding Drugs or Alcohol
One of the most notable traffic laws recently introduced in Virginia is the ability for judges to sentence guilty drivers to community service rather than mandatory license suspension in cases of marijuana possession. Another piece of legislation also paves the way for certain types of establishments to conduct limited beer delivery to their customers, provided they are parked in appropriate space, and the product was ordered ahead of time. The recent changes also increase the penalty for drivers who refuse to submit to a breath test when requested by law enforcement officers.
Stick to the Right Lane
Many Virginia drivers will find themselves fighting old habits in the hopes of avoiding a costly ticket from local police. One of the recent laws stipulates that all drivers must use the right lanes for travel, and can only use the left one when they are passing other vehicles. Police plan to focus enforcement efforts on this particular law to ensure that it is quickly adopted by the public. Failure to observe this law could result in a $100 fine for first-time offenders.
What to Do When Facing Traffic Charges
While some traffic violations are minor offenses that penalize offenders with just a fine, reckless driving and driving under the influence (DUI) are two of many serious charges that can have long-term consequences. The state of Virginia enforces a comprehensive reckless driving law that covers a wide range of unsafe activities, including driving with known defects of the vehicle, failure to use turn signals and inappropriate passing.
Drivers found guilty of reckless driving, or other serious traffic law violation can receive a misdemeanor on their record in addition to other penalties. That’s why you should always contact a professional traffic attorney in Virginia who understands the details of Virginia traffic law and how it can best be applied to a particular case. Don’t hesitate to seek sound legal advice and counsel before going to court for a serious breach of traffic law.