Underage Possession Of Alcohol
You probably know that it is against the law to consume alcohol if you are under 21; however, did you know that it’s also illegal to possess alcohol if you’re underage? Indeed, federal law prohibits any person under the age of 21 from purchasing, attempting to purchase, and/or possessing any type of alcoholic beverage. What’s more, underage possession of alcohol is classified as a criminal offense, and carries a number of penalties as a result.
Situations Where Minors Can Possess Alcoholic Beverages
In 1985, lawmakers passed the National Minimum Drinking Age Act, a piece of legislation designed to reduce the number of alcohol-related fatalities that occur each year in the United States. Under this act, all states were required to raise the legal drinking age from 18 to 21 in order to maintain federal funding for state roads. However, the act left it up to each state to determine the laws regarding private possession.
In most states a minor can legally consume alcohol during an observed religious purpose as long as a parent, legal guardian, or spouse is present. In addition, alcohol may be legally permitted if it is used for medical purposes, consumed in a private club, or during lawful employment by a licensed manufacturer, retailer, or wholesaler.
Consequences Of Underage Possession
Aside from the situations listed above, minors are expected to refrain from alcohol use. If a person under 21 is caught violating or attempting to violate any of the laws in his or her area, he or she could face serious criminal charges. And, while first offenders have a greater chance of receiving leniency than repeat offenders, an underage alcohol possession charge can often carry penalties such as fines, community service, license suspension, probation, and or jail time.