The penalties for individuals who provide or sell alcohol to minors, or persons under the age of 21, can be harsh. Making alcohol available to minors is a Class A misdemeanor offense. Conviction on a Class A misdemeanor can result in a jail sentence of up to one year, a fine of up to $4,000, or both. These individuals also will lose their driver’s licenses for up to 180 days following the date of their convictions.
Furthermore, adults who are over the age of 21 (other than parents or guardians) can be financially responsible for any damages caused by a minor under the age of 18 due to intoxication. This liability exists if the adults knowingly provided alcohol to a minor or allowed a minor to be served alcohol on property that they owned or leased.
Charges of providing alcohol to minors often result from bartenders, liquor store owners, and hosts of parties who intentionally serve minors with alcohol. On college campuses, students who are over the age of 21 can be charged with this offense for serving individuals who are under the age of 21.
In order to be found guilty of this offense, the accused persons must have acted with criminal negligence in providing the alcohol to the minor. For instance, if the adult failed or declined to check the minor’s ID, he or she might be criminally negligent, particularly in the case of a liquor store employee or bar employee whose job it is to check IDs before serving anyone with alcohol.
If you are facing alcohol-related charges or other types of criminal charges, you should consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney who can ensure that your rights a protected at all stages of your criminal proceedings. At Peek & Toland, we are dedicated to protecting your rights and defending you any accusations of wrongdoing that you may be facing. We are here to investigate the facts surrounding your case, consider your options, and help you develop the strategy that is best designed to achieve a successful outcome in your case. Do not waste time attempting to handle legal matters on your own; contact our office as soon as you are charged with a criminal offense so that we can provide you with the help that we need.