Yesterday we visited Richmond, VA with our partner, the Washington Regional Alcohol Program (WRAP) for the ceremonial bill-signing with Governor Bob McDonnell for Virginia House Bill 1407, sponsored by Delegate Janis and Senate Bill 770, sponsored by Senator Marsden.

Governor McDonnell (seated) with Senator Marsden (left) and Delegate Janis (Right.)

The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility is a proud supporter of the new zero tolerance law for underage drinking and driving in Virginia. Effective today, minors convicted of driving after consuming virtually any amount of alcohol will lose their driver’s licenses for a year and be guilty of a Class 1 Misdemeanor.

Senator Marsden described the bill by saying, “If a police officer sees someone in a car with a six-pack of beer in their lap and that person turns out to be under 21, well they are guilty of committing a Class 1 Misdemeanor. But if that same person decides to drink those beers, pull out into traffic, get pulled over and be somewhere between a .02 and a .06 (BAC) – they are guilty of a Class 2 Misdemeanor, and that makes no sense. That’s what this bill tries to fix.”

Delegate Janis spoke about today being a culmination of a nearly four-year effort resulting in the passage of this legislation that sends a clear and unequivocal message. “If you should exercise poor judgment and make a bad decision to drink alcohol in Virginia underage, and if you further complicate that decision by getting behind the wheel of an automobile…you’re going to be walking for 12 months,” said Janis.