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Supplying Alcohol to Minors is Illegal in Pennsylvania

The legal drinking age in the United States is 21, and it is illegal in all states to sell alcohol to anyone who is underage. There are also prohibitions on providing underage people with alcohol, even if there is no exchange of money.

The following is some important information to know about supplying alcohol to minors:

  • Supplying: All states have laws against providing alcohol to underage people, regardless of the method of supplying it (selling, giving, etc.).
  • Acts constituting supplying: There are many different actions that constitute supplying alcohol to someone who is underage. For example, simply not restricting access to alcohol in one’s home could constitute supplying alcohol, as could placing an alcoholic beverage close to an underage person with the intent to allow the minor to take a drink, or buying alcohol and placing it in the vehicle of an underage person.
  • Intent: The law requires that for an action to be criminal, the accused must knowingly provide alcohol to the underage person and have intended for that alcohol to end up in the underage person’s possession. It is not enough to merely be indifferent to an underage person drinking to be convicted of supplying alcohol.
  • License is irrelevant: The laws do not just apply to establishments with a license to sell or serve alcohol. They apply to anyone of legal drinking age, including parents of children or college students providing alcohol to their underage friends.

For the guidance and advice you need if you have been accused of illegally supplying alcohol to minors, consult dedicated Reading criminal defense attorney David R. Eshelman.


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