Authorities Focus on Curbing Alcohol-Related Crimes Near College Campuses
With students flocking back to colleges and universities across Pennsylvania, the state police and Pennsylvania Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement are teaming up with other law enforcement agencies to curb various alcohol-related crimes both on and around campuses.
In addition to enforcing alcohol laws, the bureau will provide enforcement and educational assistance to college administrators and other authorities to help them reduce the amount of underage drinking and other alcohol-related problems they see. Officers are also set to meet with liquor licensees near colleges to promote better awareness, improve relations with local police departments and reinforce just how important their role is in preventing alcohol being sold to minors.
Ramping up enforcement
In a news release, the bureau stated it would aggressively enforce all state laws related to the unlawful possession, purchase, distribution and/or consumption of alcohol. Anyone under the age of 21 found consuming or in possession of alcohol will be fined. Penalties for first offenses include fines of up to $500 and/or jail time of up to 90 days and a driver’s license suspension of 6 months. Subsequent convictions may result in fines of $1000 and even longer license suspensions.
The bureau is not just targeting minors — it’s also focused on those who give them alcohol. Individuals or institutions found to be providing alcohol to anyone under the age of 21 could be found guilty of a third-degree misdemeanor. A first offense would warrant a fine of $1,000 and up to a year of imprisonment, with second and subsequent offenses potentially resulting in fines of $2,500. Additionally, anyone charged with providing alcohol to minors will be photographed and fingerprinted, with this information added to state police files.
If you have been charged with any type of underage drinking-related crime, contact knowledgeable Berks County criminal defense lawyer David R. Eshelman.