Potential Legal Issues in Underage Drinking Cases
While underage drinking is, in the long run, certainly not the most serious crime that a young person can be found guilty of, it definitely has plenty of harsh penalties in the aftermath of the incident and will stay on the defendant’s record for years. The most common penalties for underage drinking include a possible suspension of the guilty party’s driver’s license, heavy fines, enrollment in alcohol education and sensitivity classes and community service.
The punishment depends on several factors, including:
- The age of the person charged with underage drinking
- Whether that person was legally intoxicated (above .08 BAC in Pennsylvania) when the offense was committed
- Whether that person has a history of other underage drinking, minor-in-possession or other illegal behavior
It’s important to note that minors can get charged even if they are just in possession of alcohol and were not consuming it, or if they are transporting it in a motor vehicle.
In general, we recommend that you plead not guilty to an underage drinking offense, as subsequent convictions while you are still a minor will lead to much larger penalties. To receive more information on how to proceed with your case, consult trusted Reading criminal law attorney David R. Eshelman.