Virginia has new abortion, beer, voter ID laws

Virginia’s newest laws took effect this Sunday, July 1st.

Beginning July 1st, Virginians will have several new laws to follow. Among them include two controversial bills, a bill that makes it easier for police to combat bath salts and synthetic drugs, and one that lets breweries sell their own beer

Ultrasound before abortion

Signed in March by Gov. McDonnell, the law requires women to undergo an ultrasound prior to having an abortion. An earlier version of the bill required a trans-vaginal ultrasound. That version of the bill earned unflattering national attention before Gov. McDonnell asked the General Assembly to amend the bill.

Voter IDs

You will now have to present a valid form of identification before voting (prior to the bill, Virginians only had to sign a document pledging their identity). Acceptable forms of ID include: a voter registration card, social security card, driver’s license, government check, and others.

DUI laws

Drivers convicted of a DUI will have an interlock system installed in their car for a six month period. An interlock system requires drivers to blow into a tube that measures blood-alcohol content. Drivers with the interlock system can expect to pay approximately $80 per month to lease the device.

EpiPens at schools

Schools are now required to have epinephrine shots (known as EpiPens) on hand to treat severe allergic reactions. The bill was inspired by the death of 7-year-old Ammaria Johnson at Hopkins Elementary School in Chesterfield County, who died after being exposed to a peanut allergen while on recess grounds.

Breweries can sell beer

Breweries can now sell their own beer at their breweries. To celebrate, Richmond-based Hardywood will release a new beer named after the legislation, SB 604, at their Brewdependence Day event on Wednesday, July 4th from 5:00 PM to 11:00 PM.

Bath salts and synthetic cannabis

A growing concern over the synthetic drugs prompted the General Assembly to reclassify the drug commonly called bath salts along with synthetic cannabis. The bill makes it easier for law enforcement officials to classify existing and any future chemical compositions as illegal.

Online retail tax

Online retailers who own facilities in Virginia and who sell items to Virginians online will now be required to collect the state’s sales tax.


The activity, in which a surfer rides the wake created behind a boat, is now legal in Virginia waters.

Correction: an earlier version of the article said that some first DUI offenses would be not be subjected to the interlock system requirement. However, the new law states that all first-time DUI offenders must have the interlock system installed in their vehicle.

stock photo by Mr. T in DC

  • error

    Report an error

Nathan Cushing

Nathan Cushing is a writer, journalist, and RVANews Editor.

There are 3 reader comments. Read them.