shutterstock_337113332In every state in the nation, it is illegal for people under the age of 21 to purchase or consume alcohol, with very few exceptions to the latter. There are laws related to these that make it illegal for a person 21-years of age or older to purchase, serve or provide alcohol to minors. Many people who find themselves charged with underage consumption or underage drinking are adults, or 18 and older.

Any person who is convicted of underage consumption or underage drinking may find themselves facing a number of consequences. These include:

  • A suspension or revocation of driver’s license
  • Fines and court costs
  • Alcohol education programs
  • Community service

Although jail time is certainly a possibility, people are rarely incarcerated for a first offense of underage drinking. When a judge is considering a sentence, the offender’s age, criminal history and level of intoxication at the time of arrest are all taken into consideration.

All states also have some type of law that forbids adults from supplying minors with alcohol or allowing them to consume it. Some states, however, do allow for parents to permit their children to drink as long as it is done in the parent’s presence and in a private location such as the home. There are also exceptions in some states for minors to possess alcohol during employment.

For example, a minor is seen by a store clerk to solicit an adult to purchase alcohol. The clerk sells the adult the alcohol  and the alcohol is then turned over to the minor. Both the clerk and the adult can be charged with providing alcohol to a minor.

In another situation, parents are having an 18th birthday party for their child. They know their teen and his friends will consume alcohol, and they would rather they can observe and keep everyone safe. The parents decide to provide the alcohol and take everyone’s keys. The next morning, a friend tells their parent that they had consumed alcohol the night before that was provided by the adults. The parent phones the police and the couple is charged with providing alcohol to a minor.

Both underage drinking and providing alcohol to a minor are fairly serious crimes. If you have been charged with either of these things in Orlando, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side to assist you in standing up for your legal rights. Call our office today and talk to a member of our team for free.