December 24, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- The Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control recently released its annual report for fiscal year 2013. For the 15th year in a row, Virginians set a record for retail alcohol sales. Details of the report could have important implications for those accused of a Virginia DUI
offense or some other alcohol related crime.
Retail alcohol sales up by about five percent for Virginia in 2013
Fiscal year 2013 saw $769 million in gross alcohol sales in Virginia. This topped the previous high, set in 2012, by $35 million. The Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, which runs more than 340 liquor stores, also posted record profits in fiscal year 2013, contributing $134.6 million in profits to the state coffers.
The Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, through its state sanctioned monopoly on retail alcohol sales, has great discretion to police the sale of alcohol in Virginia. The agency conducted at least 9,800 criminal investigations in fiscal year 2013, and achieved a 98 percent compliance rate in not selling alcohol to underage consumers in its retail stores.
One area the state has less control over is the sale of alcohol to underage consumers at bars and restaurants. According to the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control report, compliance in not selling to underage patrons fell in 2013 compared to the previous year from 87 percent to 85.7 percent. Underage possession of alcohol
can actually have serious implications for a young person's future, and with fewer IDs being checked, minors could be more likely to wind up facing charges.
Virginia profits from both alcohol sales and alcohol crackdowns; protect yourself
As the State of Virginia is making record profits selling alcohol, it is also squeezing even more out of citizens on the back end on by leveling steep fines against those convicted of drunk driving and by pushing heavy DUI enforcement. In fact, on December 13, an award ceremony was held in Virginia to honor law enforcement officers who had the highest number of DUI arrests. The second place honoree logged 165 DUI arrests for his fourth Law Enforcement Award of Excellence in as many years.
Virginia conducts many initiatives to catch drivers allegedly over the legal limit for alcohol, young adults who are illegally in possession of alcohol and anyone else who may be in violation of the state's liquor laws. With alcohol sales on the rise in Virginia, more residents could be at risk of arrest.
If you have been accused of an alcohol related crime, you have a right to stage a legal defense. A conviction can have serious repercussions on your future; your ability to secure a job, get into an institution of higher learning or even obtain a professional license could be impacted by a criminal conviction. Of course, there are also a variety of direct punishments for a conviction through the criminal justice system, like probation, driver's license suspension, fines and even jail time.
If you were arrested for an alcohol related crime, do everything you can to stand up for your rights and get in touch with a Virginia criminal defense attorney today.
Article provided by Michael S. Weisberg, P.C. Attorney at Law
Visit us at www.weislaw.com