Notwithstanding any other provision of law, all violations of any weight limit as provided in this article or any permit issued by either the Department or its designee or by local authorities pursuant to this chapter shall be processed in the following manner:
1. The officer or size and weight compliance agent charging the violation shall serve a citation on the operator of the overweight vehicle. The citation shall be directed to the owner, operator, or other person responsible for the overweight violation as determined by the officer or size and weight compliance agent. Service of the citation on the vehicle operator shall constitute service of process upon the owner, operator, or other person charged with the weight violation as provided in § 46.2-1136.
3. The owner, operator, or other person charged with the weight violation shall, within 21 days after the citation is served upon the vehicle operator, either make full payment to the Department of the civil penalty, liquidated damages, weighing fee, and processing fee as stated on the citation, or deliver to the Department a written notice of his election to contest the overweight charge in court.
4. Failure of the owner, operator, or other person charged with the weight violation to timely deliver to the Department either payment in full of the uncontested civil penalty, liquidated damages, weighing fee, and processing fee or a notice of contest of the weight violation shall cause the Department to issue an administrative order of assessment against such person. A copy of the order shall be sent by first-class mail to the person charged with the weight violation. Any such administrative order shall have the same effect as a judgment for liquidated damages entered by a general district court.
b. Send by first-class mail to the person charged with the weight violation, and to the officer or size and weight compliance agent who issued the citation, confirmation that the citation has been forwarded to the court for trial.
6. Notices and pleadings may be served by first-class mail sent to the address shown on the citation as the address of the person charged with the weight violation or, if none is shown, to the address of record for the person to whom the vehicle is registered.
7. An alleged weight violation which is contested shall be tried as a civil case. The attorney for the Commonwealth shall represent the interests of the Commonwealth. The disposition of the case shall be recorded in an appropriate order, a copy of which shall be sent to the Department in lieu of any record which may be otherwise required by § 46.2-383. If judgment is for the Commonwealth, payment shall be made to the Department.
8. Notwithstanding any other provisions of this section, any and all citations and notices required by this section to be provided to the person charged with a violation or received from the person charged with a violation, with the exclusion of the citation as set out in subdivision 1, may be served or provided in an electronic manner if the Department and the person charged with the violation have agreed to utilize electronic notification.
1986, c. 588, § 46.1-341.02; 1987, c. 372; 1989, c. 727; 2003, c. 314; 2011, cc. 62, 73.