Drinking under the age of 21 may be a crime, but it is one of the most common that is committed by America’s youth. Indeed, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism reports that by age 18, about 60 percent of teens have had at least one drink. This may be why a teen will think it is no big deal when their friend offers them a beer, and they consent.
But underage drinking is a big deal under Ohio law, and a teen who is charged with drinking under the legal age can face serious consequences, especially if the crime is committed in conjunction with other activities (like driving). For those who have been convicted of underage drinking (or their parents), our legal team at the Comunale Law Office is ready to help you.
The offense of drinking under the age of 21 is a first-degree misdemeanor in Ohio. It is punishable by up to six months in jail, and a fine of $1,000. Fortunately for those who are first-time offenders, the judge will likely forego the jail sentence and require the defendant perform community service or be placed on probation.
In addition to possession of alcohol, another alcohol-related offense that a person under the age of 21 may commit is that of using false identification to procure alcohol or enter a bar. This, too, is a first-degree misdemeanor offense.
One of the more serious alcohol-related crimes is that of drinking while driving. For those under 21 years of age, the legal limit is .02 percent blood alcohol content (BAC). A person who has a BAC of .02 percent or above can be arrested, face an automatic license suspension of three months, and face a fine and jail time.
Being charged with an alcohol-related crime when you have your future ahead of you can really throw you off course. In fact, you may be denied jobs, internships, volunteer opportunities, or even entry into certain universities as a result of your alcohol charge. This can set you back for years. An alcohol charge doesn’t just go away – you need an experienced underage drinking crimes lawyer on your side who knows how to fight for you and mitigate the worst outcome.
At the Comunale Law Office, we know that being charged with a crime as a minor or an alcohol crime for someone under 21 can be scary. We also know that you may be afraid of what will happen next and what your future will look like. When you call our legal team, we get to work immediately on building your defense and advocating for you.
To learn more, please send us a message today by email or using the intake form on our website. You can also call us directly at your convenience.
Our personal injury lawyers at Comunale Law Office have litigated for their clients that have suffered from injuries from vehicle accidents, hazardous products, medical malpractice and dangerous job conditions successfully gaining compensation for any losses.