Getting a DWI without a handgun results in forfeiture of your permit for 3 years.
Getting a DWI with a handgun is a class 1 misdemeanor and results in forfeiture of your permit for 5 years.
In Virginia, class 1 misdemeanors can carry up to a year in jail and a $2,500 fine. DWI is also a class 1 misdemeanor. When you carry while DUI or DUI in a commercial vehicle the potential penalties double.
I thought I could just pay a fine for public intox. Why do I have to go to court?
Because you were carrying. Carrying concealed while publicly intoxicated transforms a simple class 4 misdemeanor (maximum fine of $250 with no jail possible) to a full fledged class 1 criminal offenses. While you can just pay a fine for “drunk in public,” if you carry, you will have to face the judge who could jail you.
What the law says:
§ 18.2-308.012. Prohibited conduct
A. Any person permitted to carry a concealed handgun who is under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs while carrying such handgun in a public place is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. Conviction of any of the following offenses shall be prima facie evidence, subject to rebuttal, that the person is “under the influence” for purposes of this section: manslaughter in violation of § 18.2-36.1, maiming in violation of § 18.2-51.4, driving while intoxicated in violation of § 18.2-266, public intoxication in violation of § 18.2-388, or driving while intoxicated in violation of § 46.2-341.24. Upon such conviction that court shall revoke the person’s permit for a concealed handgun and promptly notify the issuing circuit court. A person convicted of a violation of this subsection shall be ineligible to apply for a concealed handgun permit for a period of five years.
B. No person who carries a concealed handgun onto the premises of any restaurant or club as defined in § 4.1-100 for which a license to sell and serve alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption has been granted by the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Board under Title 4.1 may consume an alcoholic beverage while on the premises. A person who carries a concealed handgun onto the premises of such a restaurant or club and consumes alcoholic beverages is guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor. However, nothing in this subsection shall apply to a federal, state, or local law-enforcement officer.
§ 18.2-388. Profane swearing and intoxication in public; penalty; transportation of public inebriates to detoxification center.
If any person profanely curses or swears or is intoxicated in public, whether such intoxication results from alcohol, narcotic drug or other intoxicant or drug of whatever nature, he shall be deemed guilty of a Class 4 misdemeanor. In any area in which there is located a court-approved detoxification center a law-enforcement officer may authorize the transportation, by police or otherwise, of public inebriates to such detoxification center in lieu of arrest; however, no person shall be involuntarily detained in such center.