Parents know that if their underage children consume alcohol it likely to result in serious charges. It is, unfortunately, something that happens. Many young people experiment with various substances. Others see underage drinking as a part of the college experience. Whatever the reason, it is something many young people face.

One of the best ways to keep your child away from the long arm of the law is to make sure they know the consequences for drinking while underage. Anyone under the age of 21 caught drinking, or even attempting to drink, faces serious penalties which we will outline here.

It is natural that you would want to protect your child from undue punishments. That is why it is vital to speak with a skilled defense attorney right away if your child is facing alcohol-related charges. A professional will do everything in their power to fight the accusations and protect their future.

Just trying to get alcohol is a crime

A person under the age of 21 can face charges before they even consume alcohol. A young person can be charged simply by lying about their age, carrying a fake ID, purchasing alcohol, attempting to purchase but being turned away, possessing or transporting alcohol.

If convicted they will lose their driver’s license for 90 days for the first offense, one year and two years for subsequent convictions, as well as fines of as much as $500. If the offender does not have their license, they will be ineligible to test for one during the suspension. If they are under 16, the suspension will begin on their 16th birthday.

Caught drinking and driving

Because of our state’s Zero Tolerance laws, law enforcement will pull no punches when someone under 21 is caught driving while intoxicated. Unlike adults, someone with a blood alcohol content of just .02 percent can be arrested for driving under the influence and charged with a DUI.

Offenders between the ages of 18 and 20 are processed no differently than someone of legal drinking age. This means up to $5000 in fines, one year of license suspension, forty-eight to seventy-two hours mandatory prison term and mandatory highway safety classes.

One of the best ways to keep your child away from charges like these is to just talk to them. Answering their questions and informing them of the consequences of their actions can have a major impact on a developing mind. Try to be active in your child’s life, and if they are picked up for underage drinking, get them the defense they’ll need.