VIRGINIA (WJHL) – A handful of new laws will soon take effect in Virginia starting July 1.
Here is a look at some of the laws that will be hitting the books next month.
ALCOHOL, BEVERAGE AND CONTROL
- Hundreds of new Virginia laws will go into effect July 14. The Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Authority has highlighted 14 ABC-related laws about to go into effect.
A full list of ABC laws can be found at this link.
TOBACCO, NICOTINE VAPOR OR OTHER PRODUCTS
- The age requirement to buy tobacco, nicotine vapor or other nicotine products will be raised from 18 to 21 year old in the state of Virginia.
HIGHWAY SAFETY LAWS
- Several new Virginia highway safety laws take effect July 1, 2019. In an effort to increase the safety of those working alongside highways, the General Assembly passed a bill prohibiting drivers from holding a handheld personal communication device while driving a vehicle in a highway work zone. Violation of the law is punishable by a fine of $250.
You can learn more about the new laws by visiting this link.
INDUSTRIAL HEMP RESEARCH PROGRAM
- Authorizes the Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services to undertake research through the establishment of (i) a higher education industrial hemp research program, to be managed by institutions of higher education, and (ii) a Virginia industrial hemp research program. The bill classifies all participants in any research program as either growers or processors and replaces the current licensing requirement, which requires a police background check, with a registration requirement. READ MORE HERE
DRONES IN THE COMMONWEALTH
- Provides that any person who knowingly and intentionally causes an unmanned aircraft system to enter the property of another and come within 50 feet of a dwelling house (i) to coerce, intimidate, or harass another person or (ii) after having been given notice to desist, for any other reason, is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. The bill also provides that any person who is required to register with the Sex Offender and Crimes Against Minors Registry who uses or operates an unmanned aircraft system to knowingly and intentionally (a) follow or contact another person without such person’s permission or (b) capture images of another person without such person’s permission when such images render the person recognizable is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. Additionally, any respondent of a permanent protective order who uses or operates an unmanned aircraft system to knowingly and intentionally follow, contact, or capture images of any individual named in the protective order is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. The bill also repeals the expiration of the prohibition on local regulation of privately owned, unmanned aircraft systems, clarifies the scope of such prohibition, and clarifies that such prohibition extends to all political subdivisions and not only to localities. The bill requires the Secretary of Commerce and Trade, in consultation with the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, to submit a report to the Governor and General Assembly no later than November 1, 2019, on the impact of this act on unmanned aircraft research, innovation, and economic development in Virginia. READ MORE HERE
- Requires a manufacturer or contract testing facility to use an alternative test method when available. An alternative test method is defined as one which (i) provides information of equivalent or better scientific quality and relevance than animal test methods, (ii) has been identified by a validation body and adopted by the relevant federal agency or program within an agency responsible for regulating the specific product or activity for which the test is being conducted, and (iii) does not use animals, or, when there is no test method available that does not use animals, uses the fewest animals possible and reduces the level of suffering or stress, to the greatest extent possible, of an animal used for testing. Such provision does not apply to a manufacturer or contract testing facility using an animal test method for the purpose of medical research or related to the development of devices, drugs, or biomedical products, or to certain other products regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The bill authorizes the Attorney General to bring a civil action to enforce such provision. Any person who violates such provision may be subject to a civil penalty of not more than $5,000 and any court costs and attorney fees. READ MORE HERE.
DOGS ALLOWED INSIDE PUBS
- Provides that dogs may be allowed within a designated area inside or on the premises of a licensed winery or farm winery, distillery, or brewery or farm brewery, except in any area used for the manufacture of food products. Current law provides that no animal shall be permitted in any area used for the manufacture of food products, with certain exceptions for guard or guide animals. READ MORE HERE.