Underage drinking is a crisis that a lot of individuals and families face. In recent years, thousands of minors have incurred injuries and have even lost their lives because of alcohol consumption. Although drinking under the age of 21 is illegal in many states, people aged 12 to 20 still consume alcohol.
States have different laws when it comes to underage drinking. The legal age for alcohol consumption in most U.S. states is 21, and those found to possess alcohol can face different kinds of punishments. They may be required to do community service, enroll in programs related to alcohol education, and other requirements. For those in Pennsylvania, people under the age of 18 will face a maximum fine of $500 for the first offense and a $,1000 penalty for the second offense. This goes on top of a mandatory driver’s license inspection. The punishment will depend on the age of the offender, as well as their past illegal behavior and other offenses.
The minors in question are not the only ones that may be up for trial. There are instances where an adult of legal age can be an accessory to the crime. For example, a minor buys liquor from a convenience store using a fake ID. The store clerk who provided the alcohol may also be charged for selling the alcohol to a juvenile.
Parents who provide their children and their friends with alcohol may also be responsible for underage drinking, too. Even if adults were present while the minors were drinking alcohol, in the event that an accident happens because of the minor’s behavior, the ones who provided the alcohol may face criminal charges.
Michael J. Donohue is a Pennsylvania-based lawyer whose practice area is criminal law. His law firm, DONOHUE LAW, handles various cases, including underage drinking. For more information on Atty. Donohue’s practice, visit this website.