Underage drinking charges are serious in Pennsylvania. If you or a loved one are facing accusations of drinking under the age of 21, seek legal assistance as soon as possible. At the SMA Law Group, we understand that many people make mistakes when they are young and our goal is to help make sure those mistakes do not follow you for the rest of your life.
When you need an underage drinking attorney, we will get to work on building a defense around you. We want you to get back to living your life as quickly as possible.
What Do These Charges Mean?
Everyone knows that the legal drinking age is 21. We also know that many people consume alcohol before that age. However innocent you may think underage drinking is, we can tell you that the following are serious violations of the law:
- Underage drinking
- Driving under the influence
- Minor in possession of alcohol
- Soliciting alcohol
- Distributing alcohol to minors
- Public drunkenness
- Disorderly conduct
- Possession of a fake ID
Today, we want to discuss some of the penalties a person can face. First, we want to start with drinking and driving under the age of 21. While the legal blood alcohol level for anyone over 21 is .08 percent, it is only .02 percent for those under 21. That means that virtually any alcohol consumption makes it illegal for a minor to drive a vehicle.
The following penalties apply for minors facing DUI charges:
- Up to 90 days in jail
- $300 to $500 fine
- License suspension for 12 months if BAC was above .10
For a second offense, a minor can face:
- 5 days to 6 months in jail
- $300 to $2,500 in fines
- One-year license suspension
Please know that there are other consequences involved when it comes to these charges and a guilty verdict. The costs to insure a vehicle will skyrocket after a DUI conviction due to the requirement to carry SR-22 insurance coverage. This cost increase can stay in place for years after a conviction.
Any underage drinking charge can affect a young person’s life, including their ability to:
- Gain meaningful employment
- Get accepted to colleges
- Obtain scholarships
Let Us Help You
If you or your child are facing charges of underage drinking, please seek help from a qualified criminal defense attorney immediately. It can be tempting to not take these charges seriously, but they can have lifelong consequences including jail time, fines, and a permanent mark on your criminal record. Even if you did not drink any alcohol, you can still face charges and penalties just for being a minor in possession.