Underage drinking is a serious problem throughout the United States. Even with the increase of educational programs and PSAs, there are still a large number of teenagers who drink alcohol. According to information provided by SADD, 26.4 percent of young people between the ages of 12 and 20 years reported using alcohol within the past 30 days.
Almost 18 percent of those report binge drinking. Almost three-quarters of high school students have used alcohol before graduation and a third of middle school student report consuming alcohol by eighth grade. Now, it appears that parents have another thing to worry about — alcohol delivered right to their door.
Deliveries of Alcohol to Minors
Jeff Rossen of the TODAY show investigated another way teens are getting alcohol. According to the report, the number of teen drinking parties is growing. Using hidden cameras, Rossen showed parents one way their teenagers may be getting alcohol.
Using a thirteen-year-old girl, with her mother present, Rossen had over a dozen stores deliver alcohol to a home. Each delivery person should check identification to verify the person receiving the alcohol is over 21 years of age. You would think that every driver would see a young girl and definitely check her ID, but that was not the case. Even though most delivery persons asked for identification, two drivers did not. One driver even asked for the ID and when he was told she did not have ID, he left the alcohol with her anyway.
While only two drivers left the alcohol with the minor, Rossen pointed out that this is just one house, in one city so how many times is this happening throughout the United States. Not to mention, you don’t want your child to have any alcohol. The risk is far too great to ignore.
What Can I Do?
Talk to your child about the dangers and risks of underage drinking. There are several excellent resources online, including resources provided by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Maintaining an open line of communication with your child is one of the best ways to educate your child about underage drinking. When you discuss underage drinking with your child, don’t forget to discuss the legal consequences of underage drinking.
Pennsylvania Penalties for Underage Drinking
The penalties for the first offense of underage drinking may not scare your child; however, the penalties increase with each offense. The penalty for underage drinking first offense is a fine of up to $500 and license suspension for 90 days. A second offense increases the maximum fine to $1,000, and license suspension is for one year. Third and subsequent underage drinking offenses carry a maximum fine of up to $1,000 but a two-year automatic license suspension.
When the underage drinking charge involves driving under the influence, the penalties increase substantially. Including adding 48 hours of minimum jail time with a maximum jail sentence of up to six months, your teen could face a fine of up to $5,000, mandatory treatment programs, and mandatory attendance of an Alcohol Highway Safety School. This is in addition to the substantial increase in your car insurance rates.
Your teenager needs to understand that just one conviction of underage drinking while driving can ruin their chance of attending the college of their choice or obtaining the job they want. Underage drinking and underage DUI are serious charges. You need an Edinboro DUI defense attorney to represent your child and protect his or her legal rights.
A DUI Charge is Not a Conviction
Just because your child is facing a DUI or underage drinking charge does not mean that you should plead guilty. Your child may have been charged incorrectly, or your child’s civil rights may have been violated. You need to consult with an Edinboro DUI attorney before doing anything.
Contact The Travis Law Firm toll free at (800) 401-2066 to schedule a free legal consultation with one of our underage drinking attorneys.