Underage Drinking Laws – Pennsylvania

 

Students and other young people in Pennsylvania can quickly find themselves in legal trouble after a lapse in judgment. Alcohol-related offenses for minors, including fake ID charges, are not taken lightly by Pennsylvania police, colleges and universities, and judges. A conviction for an underage alcohol offense will result in consequences that can negatively impact a student’s future.

MISREPRESENTATION OF AGE TO PURCHASE LIQUOR OR MALT OR BREWED BEVERAGES (18 P.S. § 6307)

A person commits an offense if he or she, being under the age of 21 years, knowingly and falsely represents himself to be 21 years of age or older to any licensed dealer, distributor or other person, for the purpose of procuring or having furnished to him or her, any liquor or malt or brewed beverage.

First Offense
Summary offense
90-day license suspension
Fine up to $300
Potential jail time: 90 day maximum

Second Offense
Misdemeanor – 3rd degree
1-year license suspension
Fine up to $500
Potential jail time: 1 year maximum

Third Offense
Misdemeanor – 3rd degree
2-year license suspension
Fine up to $500
Potential jail time: 1 year maximum

PURCHASE, CONSUMPTION, POSSESSION OR TRANSPORTATION OF LIQUOR OR MALT OR BREWED BEVERAGES (18 P.S. § 6308)

A person commits an offense if he, being less than 21 years of age, attempts to purchase, purchases, consumes, possesses or knowingly and intentionally transports any liquor or malt or brewed beverages. It is not a defense that the liquor or malt or brewed beverage was consumed in a jurisdiction other than the jurisdiction where the citation for underage drinking was issued.

First Offense
Summary offense
90-day license suspension
Fine up to $500
Potential jail time: 90 day maximum

Second Offense
Summary Offense
1-year license suspension
Fine up to $1,000
Potential jail time: 1 year maximum

Third Offense
Misdemeanor – 3rd degree
2-year license suspension
Fine up to $1,000
Potential jail time: 1 year maximum

A person shall be immune from prosecution for consumption or possession if the person can establish that the only way law enforcement officers became aware of the person’s violation is because the person placed a 911 call, or a call to campus safety, policy or emergency services, in good faith, based on a reasonable belief and reported that another person was in need of immediate medical attention to prevent death or serious injury. He or she must reasonably believe that they were the first person to make the call, he or she provided his or her own name, and that he or she remained with the person needing medical attention.

CARRYING A FALSE ID (18 P.S. § 6310.3)

A person commits an offense if he or she, being under 21 years of age, possesses an identification card falsely identifying that person by age, date of birth, or photograph as being 21 years of age or older or obtains or attempts to obtain liquor or malt or brewed beverages by using the identification card of another or by using an identification card that has not been lawfully issued to or in the name of that person who possesses the card. If a person is

First Offense
Summary offense
90-day license suspension
Potential jail time: 90 day maximum

Second Offense
Misdemeanor – 3rd degree
1-year license suspension
Fine up to $500
Potential jail time: 1 year maximum

Third or Subsequent Offense
Misdemeanor – 3rd degree
2-year license suspension
Fine up to $500
Potential jail time: 1 year maximum

EXPLORING YOUR OPTIONS

If you or your loved one has been charged with an underage alcohol-related offense in Pennsylvania, hiring a lawyer is the best thing one can do. At The Martin Law Firm, our skilled lawyers routinely represent students and other minors who have been charged. Our lawyers understand that alcohol related charges on your criminal record can easily bar you from future educational and employment opportunities.

ALTERNATIVE SENTENCING PROGRAMS (42 P.S. § 1520)

Pennsylvania law allows a magisterial district judge to admit a minor who is charged with a summary offense into an appropriate alternative program. The minor need not plead guilty to be accepted in a program. These programs typically include community service, counseling, public service, job training, and education. The public service or charitable agency accepts responsibility for the minor and makes periodic reports to the Judge. Upon successful completion of the program the public service or charitable agency will issue a final report to the Judge. The Judge will then dismiss the charges and shall relieve the minor of the obligation to pay any fine or serve any sentence of imprisonment upon the successful completion of the program

ALCOHOL AND MINORS – THE MARTIN LAW FIRM, P.C.

Contact us today for a free case evaluation at 215-687-4053.