Consequences of Underage Drinking for Teens and Parents
Spring has finally arrived in Connecticut, and that means that the school year will be winding down soon. For high school students – especially seniors – the end of the school year brings with it exciting events. If you have teenagers, they have probably begun making plans for proms, class trips, award banquets, and other activities. It is not uncommon, however, for underage drinking to occur, and the consequences of such drinking can be serious for not only teens, but also for their parents.
In Connecticut, the legal drinking age was raised to 21-years-old in 1985– and has remained there ever since. According to Connecticut General Statute Sec. 30-89, minors are not allowed to possess alcohol, whether in a public road or street; or a private or public place. The fine for violating the law can be up to $500.
It is also illegal for a minor to purchase alcohol, even if the establishment does not request legal proof of age, such as a driver’s license. And if a minor is carded, and provides a false identification, they can be fined anywhere from $200 up to $500 and be sentenced to up to 30 days in jail.
Violations of Connecticut’s underage drinking law can also affect a minor’s driving privileges, under a different state statute, Sec. 14-111e. A minor who is in possession of alcohol in a private place can lose their license for 30 days; 60 days suspension for a public place or road possession conviction; and 150 days suspension for using a false identification to purchase alcohol.
However, it is not only a minor that gets caught drinking who may face consequences. Parents and other adults who allow minors to have alcohol on private property are also breaking the law. The first time an adult is charged, they can be found guilty of committing an infraction. However, any subsequent findings of guilt, the court can issue a fine of up to $500 and sentence the adult to up to one year in prison.
If your teen has been charged with possession of alcohol, or any other crime, contact an experienced Stamford criminal defense attorney. Call the Law Offices of Daniel P. Weiner at 203-348-5846 for a free consultation.