Laws Against Selling to or Buying Alcohol for Minors
Many people assume that underage drinking is not a big deal because of its prevalence, but in reality, furnishing alcohol to a minor can lead to major fines, jail time, or removal of a license to sell alcohol. Read on to learn more about underage drinking, as well as what you can do if you’ve been accused of this crime.
What You Need to Know About Underage Drinking
Underaged drinking causes more than 4,000 youth deaths in America each year. Despite it being illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to drink, people ages 12 to 20 years old make up 11 percent of alcohol consumption in the U.S. Underage drinkers are also more likely to consume more drinks than adult drinkers, and 14 percent of underage youth have reported binge drinking at least once in a 30-day period.
Underage drinkers also have an increased likelihood of having bad grades in school, getting into fights, and getting arrested. Alcohol consumption of youth can also lead to unplanned sexual activity and the abuse of other drugs.
What Makes it a Crime?
According to California law, it is a crime for someone over the age of 21 to sell or provide any alcoholic beverage to someone under the age of 21. It is also illegal for someone under the age of 21 to buy alcohol or drink an alcoholic beverage in a place where it is sold. These charges may stem from undercover police asking a person to buy alcohol for them.
What are the Penalties?
Those buying for or selling alcohol to a minor could face serious fines and jail time. Parents who allow their child to consume alcohol under the age of 18 could spend up to one year in county jail and be charged a $1,000 fine. Minors who purchase alcohol may be required to do up to 32 hours of community service and pay a $250 fine. If someone with a license to sell alcohol knowingly allows an underaged person to buy alcohol, they can face a similar fine or have their license suspended for 15 days.
Those who are charged with furnishing alcohol to a minor may be able to avoid prosecution if the charges can be proven as unfounded. Possible defenses to the charge include:
- The accused person did not know the minor was underaged.
- The seller of alcohol believed that a fake I.D. was real.
- The person under 21 called 911 to report a need for medical attention due to alcohol consumption.
- The minor was not involved in any dangerous activity while drinking, such as driving under the influence.
Contact Bradley Corbett Today
If you or someone you love has been convicted of selling to or buying alcohol for minors, Bradley Corbett can help. We’re experienced in legal defense across a variety of crimes, and will use our expertise to uphold your credibility and freedom. Contact us today to learn more about defenses against this crime. We’ll help fight for the most favorable outcome possible.
Bradley Corbett is a criminal defense attorney in San Diego. He graduated from Brigham Young University in Provo Utah in 2004. Later he enrolled at Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego where he participated in a prestigious internship program with the Los Angeles County Public Defender. Since then he has handled over 2,000 cases.