Q: Does a misdemeanor DUI conviction qualify a person as being an addict or unlawful user?
The Firearms Purchase Elligibility Test on the Virgina State Police website states that: A person who answers “yes” to any of the below questions may be prohibited from purchasing or possessing a firearm pursuant to state and/or federal law.........Are you an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana, or any depressant, stimulant, or narcotic drug, or any controlled substance? The Federal Gun Control Act defines an addicted person, or unlawful user, as a person who has a conviction for use or possession of a controlled substance within the past year or persons found through a drug test to use a controlled substance unlawfully, provided that the test was administered within the past year.
A: A DUI conviction alone should not flag you as such a person, as alcohol use by adults 21 years of age or older is not inherently illegal. The gravamen of a DUI offense is impaired driving, not the drinking itself. A DUI also does not necessarily indicate an addiction. Furthermore, alcohol is not listed as a "controlled substance" in the Virginia Controlled Substances Act. Various types of alcohol and tobacco are actually specifically excluded by the definitions statute that defines what is considered to be a controlled substance. That said, firearm purchase forms at gun stores will have detailed instructions on both the state and federal forms, and those instructions should be reviewed carefully by any would-be firearm purchaser so that the questions can be answered truthfully and accurately.
Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.
The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.
Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.