Drivers in Virginia should be aware of some new laws that go into effect July 1. There will be tougher laws on distracted driving, drinking and driving, and new requirements for moped drivers.
Effective July 1, texting while driving will be a primary offense meaning an officer can stop someone if they see them texting while driving. Fines for texting while driving are increasing to $125 for the first offense and $250 for the second or subsequent offense.
Drinking and Driving
Beginning July 1, any driving while intoxicated (DWI) conviction will be a felony if the person charged has one of the following prior convictions:
- Involuntary manslaughter alcohol
- Involuntary manslaughter alcohol boating
- DWI maiming
- Boating while intoxicated maiming
- DWI third offense or subsequent
As of July 1, moped drivers must carry a government-issued photo ID. All moped drivers and passengers must wear a helmet while riding a moped. Drivers will also be required to wear a face shield. If the moped doesn’t have a windshield, drivers must wear a face shield and safety glasses or goggles. Virginia law also requires mopeds be titled and registered by July 1, 2014. On July 1, 2013 the Department of Motor Vehicles will begin titling and registering mopeds. The titles are $10 and the annual registration fee is $20.25. These new requirements will allow law enforcement to better track mopeds that are stolen and/or used in commission of a crime.
The Winchester Police Department wants to educate the public on these new laws that take effect on Monday. It is our hope that these laws will help to make our roads in the Commonwealth safer.
This press release was prepared by Lauren Cummings, Police Community Relations/Crime Prevention Specialist. (540) 545-7548 (office) Lcummings@ci.winchester.va.us