Last time on "Who wants to be arrested?" we checked in on some of the more ludicrous local laws, covering such important topics as pet skunk ownership, driving barefoot and hunting raccoons after midnight. But really, we barely scraped the surface of Virginia’s loony legislative iceberg, and so—with the General Assembly seemingly intent on churning out even more idiotic rules and regulations with each passing session—we thought we’d take this opportunity to examine two of the more recent (and utterly ridiculous) laws to be foisted upon our unsuspecting Commonwealth.
The first, which has already been well documented in these pages, is the so-called "driver-responsibility tax," which imposes a massive hike in fines for such minor traffic infractions as speeding, passing a school bus or "driving with an obstructed view." Now, while gallons of ink have been spilled over the irony of our supposedly tax-adverse lawmakers hitting Virginia drivers with $2,500 fines to help close a budget gap, there’s another aspect to this tale that’s received far less scrutiny.
You see, it seems that one of the primary architects of the 2007 Transportation Bill (and its accompanying usurious traffic fines) was 42nd District Delegate Dave Albo, who has a long history of sponsoring traffic-related legislation. A quick perusal of the "Legislative" section of his website turns up bills to raise fines for all sorts of traffic infractions, increase minimum drunk-driving sentences and suspend the license of anyone convicted of purchasing alcohol for anyone "underage, intoxicated, or interdicted." (Betcha didn’t know that buying your drunk friend a beer was a crime, did ya?)
So the guy really cares about traffic safety—what’s so wrong with that, you ask? Well, it just so happens that Albo—following the venerable Virginia political tradition of mixing business with…well, more business—is also a namesake partner in Albo & Oblon, L.L.P, a "unique Virginia DUI defense firm" that derives much of its revenues from defending people who broke laws that Albo was instrumental in passing.
Only in Virginia, my friends. Really, you just can’t make this stuff up.
Anyway, to pivot from the infuriating to the absurd, we must also express our glee and everlasting gratitude to the geniuses who dreamed up the Putative Father Registry, a recently launched, state-run system designed to catalog every consensual sex act between straight, unmarried couples in the Commonwealth.
Yes, you heard that right, kids. If you’re one of those insatiable sex machines who’s been spreading his baby batter from the Beltway to the beach and back again, your friendly local Department of Social Services wants to know about it! But don’t worry, it’s entirely voluntary—although, if you fail to log on and fill out the requisite "I’m a man-whore!" documentation immediately following your horizontal mambo, you risk forfeiting any and all legal rights to the (possible) resultant offspring. Of course, for a large swath of Charlottesville’s single male population, that’s not a bug, it’s a feature!
But here’s the real kicker: In case you’ve forgotten, engaging in oral or anal sex is still a crime in Virginia, so in effect our state government is encouraging its male citizens to document a possible crime each and every time they fill out one of these ridiculous forms.
So remember, fellas: Next time you’re speeding home in a postcoital frenzy, eager to log on and document your most recent re-enactment of the beast with two backs, you might just want to put on the brakes. Sure, it’s fun to brag—but once you get started, you might not be able to stop, and who knows where that might lead? You might even end up having to call Dave Albo for some legal advice—and trust us, that’s the last thing you want to do.