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Adults in Pennsylvania Who Let Minors Drink Face Potentially Stiff Penalties

Pennsylvania law takes underage drinking seriously, and adults in the state who let minors drink could face very serious penalties.

As an example, on New Year’s Eve, police busted at least nine underage drinkers at a party in Jackson Township. There were two adults at home, who were charged with selling or providing liquor to minors, corruption of minors and endangering the welfare of children.

There are some who are under the misconception that if a parent or legal guardian is present and approves of a child drinking alcohol, then it is allowed in the eyes of the law. But this is not the case. In Pennsylvania, there are no circumstances outside of religious ceremonies in which it is legal for anyone under the age of 21 to consume alcohol. As an adult, you may not knowingly allow your child or any other minor to drink.

Large fines possible for adults

If you do provide alcohol to minors, you could face a $1,000 fine for a first-time violation. Every subsequent violation after that is a $2,500 fine — and that’s just for furnishing or selling alcohol to minors. Individual cases could have additional charges on top of that, which could quite quickly increase the amount of money you have to pay out in fines.

Adults may also be sued in civil court if they provide alcohol to individuals under 21 who then hurt themselves, hurt others or damage property.

It’s best to avoid providing minors with alcohol at all. However, if you do face charges for selling or providing alcohol to minors, you may work with a criminal defense attorney who can represent your interests and help assert your right to fair treatment under the law.

To learn more about this issue, consult experienced Berks County criminal lawyer David R. Eshelman.


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