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> Enforcement > Virginia Codes and Regulations

Virginia Codes and Regulations

Virginia State Capitol
The mission of Virginia ABC is founded on the laws established by the Virginia General Assembly and the regulations promulgated by the ABC Board. The primary resource for legislative and regulatory information is Virginia’s Legislative Information System.

New Alcohol-Related Laws Effective July 1

Several pieces of business-friendly legislation passed by the General Assembly earlier this year and signed into law by Gov. Terry McAuliffe became effective July 1. The new laws address rules for Virginia distilleries at festivals, permit delivery of closed alcohol containers to customer’s vehicles, add new license types, define cider and modify details of Virginia ABC's transition to an authority in 2018.

Suggested First Offense Penalties

Licensees may accept the penalties outlined in 3-VAC-5-70-210 in lieu of a hearing if they have no other administrative violations within a three-year period preceding the new violation. This is called a consent settlement offer. Standard penalties for these and other administrative offenses may be more or less severe depending on the type of offense, number of previous violations and aggravating or mitigating evidence. For first offenses, licensees may elect to serve the specified suspension or pay the specified civil penalty.

Order the Virginia Code Book

This convenient handbook provides all Virginia statutes and regulations related to alcohol and alcoholic beverage control. Order now and get your own copies while supplies last! Download the order form (PDF).

Moving into Virginia?

Are you relocating to the commonwealth? Will you be importing wine, beer or spirits as part of your items? The Code of Virginia states that if you bring more than a gallon of alcoholic beverages into Virginia with your household goods, you need to complete a form. Read more.

Primary Sources for ABC Laws and Regulations

Code of Virginia

The Code of Virginia (COV) contains the laws (statutes) of the Commonwealth.

Title 4.1 is the Alcoholic Beverage Control Act.

Title 18.2 establishes crimes and offenses, including driving under the influence, public intoxication and possession of false identification.

Virginia ABC special agents, state police and local law enforcement enforce these laws. Violations are punishable as a criminal act with fines and/or jail time.

Virginia Administrative Code

The Virginia Administrative Code (VAC) contains the regulations of state agencies, including Virginia ABC.

Title 3 contains the regulations of the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Board.

Virginia ABC special agents primarily enforce these rules, which focus on ABC licensees. Violations can be punishable by fines, probation or revocation of the ABC license. These codes represent the agency regulations that apply to COV 4.1

ABC Crimeline

To report an ABC law violation or object to an ABC license: Call (800) 552-3200 or submit the Violation Complaint Form.

Licensee Guidance

Visit the Retail Resources and Industry Resources sections for wine and beer and for distilled spirits for additional information about proper implementation of ABC laws and regulations. Topics range from happy hour advertising to food-beverage ratio requirements.