Marijuana and certain traffic offenses; issuing citations, etc, (SB5029)

Introduced By

Sen. Louise Lucas (D-Portsmouth) with support from 14 copatrons, whose average partisan position is:

Those copatrons are Del. Dawn Adams (D-Richmond), Del. Mark Cole (R-Fredericksburg), Del. Clinton Jenkins (D-Suffolk), Del. Kaye Kory (D-Falls Church), Del. Shelly Simonds (D-Newport News), Sen. Jennifer Boysko (D-Herndon), Sen. Creigh Deeds (D-Bath), Sen. Barbara Favola (D-Arlington), Sen. Ghazala Hashmi (D-Midlothian), Sen. Janet Howell (D-Reston), Sen. Mamie Locke (D-Hampton), Sen. Jeremy McPike (D-Dale City), Sen. Joe Morrissey (D-Richmond), Sen. Scott Surovell (D-Mount Vernon)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Issuing citations; possession of marijuana and certain traffic offenses. Provides that no law-enforcement officer may lawfully stop a motor vehicle for operating (i) without a light illuminating a license plate, (ii) with defective and unsafe equipment, (iii) without brake lights or a high mount stop light, (iv) without an exhaust system that prevents excessive or unusual levels of noise, (v) with certain sun-shading materials and tinting films, and (vi) with certain objects suspended in the vehicle. No evidence discovered or obtained as a result of such unlawful stop shall be admissible in any trial, hearing, or other proceeding. The bill also provides that no law-enforcement officer may lawfully stop, search, or seize any person, place, or thing solely on the basis of the odor of marijuana, and no evidence discovered or obtained as a result of such unlawful search or seizure shall be admissible in any trial, hearing, or other proceeding. The bill prohibits the enactment of a local ordinance establishing a primary offense when the corresponding provision in the Code of Virginia is a secondary offense. The bill prohibits any local ordinance relating to the ownership or maintenance of a motor vehicle from being cause to stop or arrest a driver of a motor vehicle unless such violation is a jailable offense. The bill prohibits a law-enforcement officer from stopping a pedestrian for jaywalking or entering a highway where the pedestrian cannot be seen. The bill provides that law-enforcement officers are not permitted to stop a motor vehicle for an expired safety inspection or registration sticker until the first day of the fourth month after the original expiration date. The bill also provides that no evidence discovered or obtained due to an impermissible stop, including evidence obtained with the person's consent, is admissible in any trial, hearing, or other proceeding. This bill is identical to HB 5058. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Passed


08/13/2020Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 08/18/20 20200057D
08/13/2020Referred to Committee on Transportation
08/18/2020Rereferred from Transportation (13-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
08/18/2020Rereferred to Judiciary
08/19/2020Impact statement from DPB (SB5029)
08/20/2020Reported from Judiciary with substitute (9-Y 6-N) (see vote tally)
08/20/2020Committee substitute printed 20200915D-S1
08/24/2020Impact statement from DPB (SB5029S1)
08/26/2020Constitutional reading dispensed (34-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
08/27/2020Read second time
08/27/2020Reading of substitute waived
08/27/2020Committee substitute agreed to 20200915D-S1
08/27/2020Engrossed by Senate - committee substitute SB5029S1
08/28/2020Read third time and passed Senate (22-Y 14-N) (see vote tally)
08/28/2020Reconsideration of passage agreed to by Senate (33-Y 3-N) (see vote tally)
08/28/2020Passed Senate (21-Y 15-N) (see vote tally)
09/17/2020Placed on Calendar
09/17/2020Read first time
09/17/2020Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
09/22/2020House committee, floor amendments and substitutes offered
09/22/2020Reported from Courts of Justice with substitute (13-Y 7-N) (see vote tally)
09/22/2020Committee substitute printed 20201242D-H1
09/24/2020Impact statement from DPB (SB5029H1)
09/24/2020Read second time
09/25/2020Read third time
09/25/2020Committee substitute agreed to 20201242D-H1
09/25/2020Engrossed by House - committee substitute SB5029H1
09/25/2020Passed House with substitute (51-Y 45-N)
09/25/2020VOTE: Adoption (51-Y 45-N) (see vote tally)
10/02/2020House substitute agreed to by Senate (21-Y 17-N) (see vote tally)
10/02/2020Title replaced 20201242D-H1
10/07/2020Bill text as passed Senate and House (SB5029ER)
10/07/2020Signed by President
10/07/2020Signed by Speaker
10/08/2020Impact statement from DPB (SB5029ER)
10/14/2020Enrolled Bill Communicated to Governor on October 14, 2020
10/14/2020G Governor's Action Deadline 11:59 p.m., October 21, 2020
10/21/2020Governor's recommendation received by Senate
11/09/2020G Approved by Governor-Chapter 51 (Per article IV, Section 13, this bill will be effective on the
11/09/20201st day of the 4th month following the month of adjournment, sine die, of this special session)
11/09/2020Senate concurred in Governor's recommendation #1 and #2 (39-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
11/09/2020Senate concurred in Governor's recommendation #3 (21-Y 18-N) (see vote tally)
11/09/2020House concurred in Governor's recommendation (54-Y 44-N)
11/09/2020VOTE: (54-Y 44-N)
11/09/2020G Governor's recommendation adopted
11/09/2020Reenrolled bill text (SB5029ER2)
11/09/2020Signed by Speaker as reenrolled
11/09/2020Signed by President as reenrolled
11/09/2020Enacted, Chapter 51 (effective 3/1/21)
11/09/2020G Acts of Assembly Chapter text (CHAP0051)


Janet Hall writes:

I just saw this proposed bill please don’t approve it. I would be afraid to drive at night to go any where I mean how am I to see a car if it is coming into my lane without A headlight on how are they do drive any safer if they can’t see where they are going until they are almost on you. This bill does not make sense at all. What about all the people who have been killed or just injured by someone without lights or even one light out. And if this is a Blm issue how in the world does a police officer see a person of color in the dark. Do they have infared eyesight.? When I’m driving at night I can’t tell what race anyone is. All this will get is more people killed or injured but then who’s gonna pay for the funeral or health care that the person who survived is going to need. Oh wait guess that’s what insurance is for.
Please please please please please please please please please don’t pass this bill.

Waldo Jaquith writes:

I have good news, Janet: under this bill, police officers will still be able to pull people over for driving at night without headlights. That's because it is enormously dangerous to drive without headlights, and obviously should never be allowed.

Robert D Legge writes:

Waldo- But it does say police may not stop a vehicle that is "without brake lights or a high mount stop light". I agree that they should not stop a car with one brake light is out but if all three? Granted that probably only rarely happens but shouldn't that be worded better?

Maureen bergin writes:

So, people without brake lights can drive? A car spewing marijuana fumes can’t be pulled over? People can drive with unsafe equipment? Did they give us a definition of Unsafe?? Our insurance rates are going to skyrocket once the actuaries get hold of this. This bill is putting everyone at risk who even walks on a road, much less has to drive someplace.

Waldo Jaquith writes:

Robert, I'm just speculating here, but I imagine it's the "at least two" bit of that law is the operative bit, the idea being that people cannot be pulled over for having a single brake light out. I suspect that having no brake lights is covered elsewhere.

Kyle Martin writes:

§ 46.2-1030 is the section that details the use of headlights, when to use them, etc. In subsection F of § 46.2-1030, it clearly states "No law-enforcement officer shall stop a motor vehicle for a violation of this section". This implies that even at night time, you can drive around without headlights. This reducing of safety requirements while operating a motor vehicle without fear of law enforcement intervention is rather concerning. It should be petitioned that any damages or loss of life resulting from this legislature should be the responsibility of those who drafted, supported, and made it law. If the intent of the bill was to reduce marijuana related stops, why not just legalize marijuana and have it fall under the dui/owi sections which I believe it already is

D Green writes:

Kyle Martin: that subsection specifically covers clause 3 of subsection A. This refers to the requirement of drivers to illuminate headlights when windshield wipers are operating intermittently. That particular clause of the code has been a secondary offense for a very long time. Prior to SB5029, officers could stop vehicles for having one defective headlight.