Even though the legal age to drink alcohol is 21, it is no secret that underage persons sometimes drink. This is especially true for college aged kids, and at certain times of the year. With the holiday season upon us, there are bound to be parties to attend, and most likely there will be drinking at these parties. If you are not 21, but decide to take a drink or two while celebrating the season with family or friends, you can be charged with more than one crime if caught. Most importantly, if you drive after drinking and get pulled over, you will probably be charged with DUI. But, there are other crimes the police can file against you, and each of them will have to be defended in order to protect your future.
A DUI, even for a minor can be filed in either of the two instances:
- Possession of alcohol, whether you are caught drinking it or just having it on your person (or nearby).
- Consumption of alcohol before turning 21 years old.
The facts that make up the actual consumption of alcohol are not hard to figure out, but possession is a much more complicated matter. A minor can be charged with a minor in possession (MIP) just by having alcohol in their possession. This could even include simply transporting unopened containers from place to place. While a possession charge is not as severe as a DUI, it does carry with it a range of punishment that can be detrimental to a young person’s future. Having charges on your record before you are even considered an adult might keep you out of college, will cause your insurance rates to increase, and could mean that you do not qualify for military service is that is your choice. If you are underage and have been charged with an alcohol related offense, call our office today for help from one of our qualified DUI and criminal defense attorneys.
If you have questions about DUI’s, call a competent criminal defense attorney in Stuart and the Treasure Coast for help. Call us to schedule an appointment.