Hunting is a favorite pastime of many Virginia residents, but one with a heavy price to pay when alcohol is involved, much like a DUI. The weapons that are used while hunting require a clear head for obvious safety reasons, which is why Virginia’s hunting under the influence laws have strict consequences. Nobody wants a person with a firearm, cross bow or bow and arrow to also have a buzz.
Hunting under the influence of alcohol or drugs in Virginia is illegal, just like DUI.
The law states, “When operating a motor vehicle, boat or watercraft in Virginia, you are legally considered driving or operating under the influence (DUI) if your blood alcohol content (BAC) is 0.08 percent or higher.” Similarly, hunting under the influence in the Commonwealth of Virginia is a class one misdemeanor. You could face a maximum sentence of twelve months and a maximum $2,500.00 fine. With hunting under the influence, however, the limits are stricter: it’s a violation if your BAC is .02 percent or higher, or the equivalent of one standard drink.
Obviously hunting while under the influence of alcohol is a serious danger to more than just the animals. These violations won’t be treated like a DUI, so an offender wouldn’t have to worry about entering into VASAP or an ignition interlock requirement. But the violations could be influential in court hearings for DUI or other alcohol-related crimes like BUI (boating under the influence) later on.
We can all agree that hunting under the influence is a danger to human life. We trust that people who are driving are safe and sober, as well as those who have potentially lethal weapons. When it comes to hunting, we hope the only influence that prevails one of enjoying nature and the beauty that the Commonwealth has to offer.