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Thread: Question regarding drinking and open carry

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    Question regarding drinking and open carry

    Good afternoon everyone. Here's the situation: I'm a Police Officer Candidate and today we were going over weapons laws which included some open carry discussion. The instructor asked if we could carry and drink alcohol. I stated that if you are conceal carrying with a CHP, then no. If you were open carrying, then yes but frowned upon. Can anyone point me in the right direction with VA state codes regarding this?

    Thank you,

    Brian

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    Activist Member Wolf_shadow's Avatar
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    Virginia code 18.2-308 covers conceiled carry. A sub section of that makes it illegal to drink while carrying conceiled. There is no law regarding open carry, hence no law prohibiting drinking while carrying.

    I'm sure someone better qualified then I will be able to point you too the exact paragraph.

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    Yes we did cover that code....and that's what I was thinking that since no code states you can't drink while open carrying that it was legal.

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    Regular Member speed41ae's Avatar
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    I am no expert on the code of law, but my personal opinion is that before I start drinking the guns go away. I feel the same way about driving. Alcohol and guns/driving should never be mixed.

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Generally indulging in an adult beverage while OCing is is said to be legal because there is no law specifically stating otherwise.

    However note the following closely related statutes. Note that there is no distinction between CC and OC.

    § 18.2-285
    Hunting with firearms while under influence of intoxicant or narcotic drug; penalty.
    It shall be unlawful for any person to hunt wildlife with a firearm, bow and arrow, or crossbow in the Commonwealth of Virginia while he is (i) under the influence of alcohol; (ii) under the influence of any narcotic drug or any other self-administered intoxicant or drug of whatsoever nature, or any combination of such drugs, to a degree that impairs his ability to hunt with a firearm, bow and arrow, or crossbow safely; or (iii) under the combined influence of alcohol and any drug or drugs to a degree that impairs his ability to hunt with a firearm, bow and arrow, or crossbow safely. Any person who violates the provisions of this section is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. Conservation police officers, sheriffs and all other law-enforcement officers shall enforce the provisions of this section.

    § 18.2-308.4
    As an add on charge where illegal drugs are concerned.
    Last edited by Grapeshot; 10-26-2015 at 10:49 PM.
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    Regular Member 2a4all's Avatar
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    While there is no prohibition of consumption of alcohol while open carrying, the statutes regarding public intoxication still apply. However, there is no objective test for BAC to determine intoxication under these circumstances as there is for operating a motor vehicle.

    Was this a homework assignment?
    A law-abiding citizen should be able to carry his personal protection firearm anywhere that an armed criminal might go.

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    Homework assignment, maybe lol. That instructor will not be here today. But all the state codes listed above were the ones we went over in class. Since you are just carrying a firearm holstered and having a beer or maybe two with dinner it doesn't fall into the hunting category. And for most of us, 1-2 beers with dinner would not increase our BAC to the level of this becoming public intoxication...so therefore I say it's legal. Would I do it, no. Do I recommend it, hell no. But is it legal, I truely believe so until I get to ask the commonwealth's attorney.

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    Quote Originally Posted by H82GO55 View Post
    [ ... ] And for most of us, 1-2 beers with dinner would not increase our BAC to the level of this becoming public intoxication...[ ... ]
    Estimations of BAC caused by the number of standard drinks are common.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blood_alcohol_content

    Here is also a description of the effects of increasing BAC and also the relative risks of various BAC.
    I am responsible for my writing, not your understanding of it.

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by H82GO55 View Post
    Homework assignment, maybe lol. That instructor will not be here today. But all the state codes listed above were the ones we went over in class. Since you are just carrying a firearm holstered and having a beer or maybe two with dinner it doesn't fall into the hunting category. And for most of us, 1-2 beers with dinner would not increase our BAC to the level of this becoming public intoxication...so therefore I say it's legal. Would I do it, no. Do I recommend it, hell no. But is it legal, I truely believe so until I get to ask the commonwealth's attorney.
    You asked about "laws" - AG opinions are not law, although we act like they are frequently.

    IMPORTANT NOTE: Official opinions represent the attorney general’s analysis of current law based on his thorough research of existing statutes, the Virginia and United States constitutions, and relevant court decisions. They are not "rulings" and do not create new law, nor do they change existing law. Creating and amending laws are the responsibility of the General Assembly, not the attorney general.

    http://www.oag.state.va.us/index.php...icial-opinions

    Having alcohol in your system does become germane when hunting.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Quote Originally Posted by H82GO55 View Post
    Homework assignment, maybe lol. That instructor will not be here today. But all the state codes listed above were the ones we went over in class. Since you are just carrying a firearm holstered and having a beer or maybe two with dinner it doesn't fall into the hunting category. And for most of us, 1-2 beers with dinner would not increase our BAC to the level of this becoming public intoxication...so therefore I say it's legal. Would I do it, no. Do I recommend it, hell no. But is it legal, I truely believe so until I get to ask the commonwealth's attorney.
    You can ask 5 different CAs and get 5 different answers. Especially in Henrico where they seem to be allowed their own interpretation of laws.

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    Regular Member ProShooter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by H82GO55 View Post
    Homework assignment, maybe lol. That instructor will not be here today. But all the state codes listed above were the ones we went over in class. Since you are just carrying a firearm holstered and having a beer or maybe two with dinner it doesn't fall into the hunting category. And for most of us, 1-2 beers with dinner would not increase our BAC to the level of this becoming public intoxication...so therefore I say it's legal. Would I do it, no. Do I recommend it, hell no. But is it legal, I truely believe so until I get to ask the commonwealth's attorney.
    Remember that local DIP laws do not rely on BAC
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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ProShooter View Post
    Remember that local DIP laws do not rely on BAC
    But they do rely on what activities you are disrupting http://law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode/t...ction18.2-415/

    stay safe.
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    Regular Member ProShooter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    But they do rely on what activities you are disrupting http://law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode/t...ction18.2-415/

    stay safe.
    That is if you use the state Disorderly Conduct statute, (or 18.2-388) which the state police do, but local PD's use the local county/city ordinances on DIP, which only relies on the officer's perception that you are drunk in public. That way, the $50 fine goes to the county/city.
    Last edited by ProShooter; 10-27-2015 at 07:36 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    Generally indulging in an adult beverage while OCing is is said to be legal because there is no law specifically stating otherwise.

    However note the following closely related statutes. Note that there is no distinction between CC and OC.

    § 18.2-285
    Hunting with firearms while under influence of intoxicant or narcotic drug; penalty.
    It shall be unlawful for any person to hunt wildlife with a firearm, bow and arrow, or crossbow in the

    § 18.2-308.4
    As an add on charge where illegal drugs are concerned.
    I noted that this only applies to hunting "wildlife."

    So I fail to see how that answers the original question.

    Things to learn if I ever travel out that way again.

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    Last edited by Freedom1Man; 10-27-2015 at 09:27 PM.
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    Regular Member Liberty-or-Death's Avatar
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    I don't drink. Problem solved.
    Be active.

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    Regular Member ProShooter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Liberty-or-Death View Post
    I don't drink. Problem solved.
    You must be single.
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    Regular Member Liberty-or-Death's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ProShooter View Post
    You must be single.
    Actually no, and my beloved of 14 years also does not drink. But we do have other vices.
    Be active.

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    Quote Originally Posted by speed41ae View Post
    I am no expert on the code of law, but my personal opinion is that before I start drinking the guns go away. I feel the same way about driving. Alcohol and guns/driving should never be mixed.
    How about holding and using 6" serrated knives while drinking?

    How about having your car keys in your possession while drinking?
    "It's not important how many people I've killed. What's important is how I get along with the people who are still alive" - Jimmy the Tulip

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    Regular Member 2a4all's Avatar
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    Just for the sake of clarity, we're talking drinking alcohol while the firearm is open to common observation as opposed to the alcohol container being openly carried, right?

    One could conceive of a citation for possession of an Open Container while Openly Carrying a firearm.

    Don't despair, Young Recruit. It will take you 4 or 5 more decades to begin to think like this, surviving many of the posters in this thread.
    A law-abiding citizen should be able to carry his personal protection firearm anywhere that an armed criminal might go.

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2a4all View Post
    Just for the sake of clarity, we're talking drinking alcohol while the firearm is open to common observation as opposed to the alcohol container being openly carried, right?

    One could conceive of a citation for possession of an Open Container while Openly Carrying a firearm.

    Don't despair, Young Recruit. It will take you 4 or 5 more decades to begin to think like this, surviving many of the posters in this thread.
    There are many good reasons for turning the compost.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    I suppose the concern is that one will "snap" after taking a sip of beer while at a restaurant. In that case, no one should ever visit such an establishment due to the general danger of being around other people doing the same thing with a wide array of improvised weapons within reach. Or maybe the public just needs to see responsible behavior being demonstrated.

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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ineedshoes View Post
    I suppose the concern is that one will "snap" after taking a sip of beer while at a restaurant. In that case, no one should ever visit such an establishment due to the general danger of being around other people doing the same thing with a wide array of improvised weapons within reach. Or maybe the public just needs to see responsible behavior being demonstrated.
    Perhaps more correctly, the antis are concerned that a LAC will, just like the anti, snap or otherwise become unhinged after imbibing.

    Somewhere I once read a study that compared gun control/gun rights attitudes with convictions for DUI. (Actually the study was about the attitudes of those convicted of DUI towards other criminal behavior. "DUI is bad, m'kay? But GUNZ is worser."

    stay safe.
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    Because stupidity isn't a race, and everybody can win.

    "No matter how much contempt you have for the media in all this, you don't have enough"
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    Seems to me not too long ago drinkin a few beers while at the range was considered an american pasttime.

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    Regular Member sudden valley gunner's Avatar
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    Beer is part of our Northwest culture, and part of normalizing OC for some of us is maybe having a beer with a meal.
    I am not anti Cop I am just pro Citizen.

    U.S. v. Minker, 350 US 179, at page 187
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    of their respect for what only appears to be a law, are cunningly coerced into waiving their
    rights, due to ignorance." (Paraphrased)

  25. #25
    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Different strokes for different folks.

    Just keep in mind nobody needs to be telling anybody else what they should or should not do. We'll keep the conversation focused on why we do or do not.

    And since it's a thread in the Virginia forum we need to keep in mind the legal aspects of what happens here as opposed to anywhere else.

    stay safe.
    "He'll regret it to his dying day....if ever he lives that long."----The Quiet Man

    Because stupidity isn't a race, and everybody can win.

    "No matter how much contempt you have for the media in all this, you don't have enough"
    ----Allahpundit

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