Underage drinking is one of Minnesota’s most significant juvenile crimes. Underage drinking can have serious consequences, whether it is underage possession, underage consumption, or underage driving under the influence.
In Minnesota, you can receive several punishments for underage drinking crime charges, including fines, community service, and even jail time.
Given the number of different crimes and punishments, understanding the laws and consequences can sometimes be unclear. Keep reading to learn more about underage drinking crimes in Minnesota and protect yourself and your family from the potential effects.
Who Is Considered Underage?
Before delving into the different underage drinking crimes in Minnesota, it is vital to understand who the state considers underage. There is a great deal of confusion around this, leading to many negative consequences.
Minnesota defines underage as an individual under 21. You are considered a minor until 8 AM on your birthday. Many people go out the evening before they turn 21, but any alcohol consumption or possession between the hours of midnight and 8 AM is technically illegal and would receive juvenile crime charges in court.
The Consequences of Underage Drinking
In addition to legal consequences, underage drinking can have serious health repercussions. Alcohol can damage the areas of the brain responsible for memory, attention, and impulse control. Furthermore, underage drinking is associated with higher rates of alcohol-related injuries and sexual assault.
If you are underage and caught committing one of these crimes, you could face fines, community service, and even jail time. Depending on the crime, the charges you receive as a minor may extend to your adult years.
Underage Drinking Crimes in Minnesota
These are the six most common underage drinking crimes in Minnesota. You want to avoid these charges at all costs.
Minnesota defines underage consumption as consuming alcohol while underage. Minor consumption is a Class B misdemeanor and is punishable by up to 90 days in jail and/or a $1,000 fine.
You can receive charges for this crime if you are a minor at a party where alcohol is present. Even if you did not consume the alcohol, the police can still charge you.
Furnishing Alcohol to a Minor
Not all underage drinking crimes focus on minors. Since it is illegal to purchase alcohol if you are under 21, selling or providing alcohol to minors is a serious crime.
In most circumstances, furnishing alcohol to a minor is considered a gross misdemeanor. You can serve up to a year in jail and pay a $3,000 fine. However, these can become felony charges if minors become intoxicated and seriously injure themselves. Hiring a lawyer to represent you is crucial to avoid the potentially serious consequences of this crime.
Underage Drinking and Driving
Minnesota defines underage drinking while intoxicated (DWI) as underage individuals operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. You will face serious penalties if you are underage and caught driving under the influence.
Typically, underage drinking and driving are gross misdemeanors. If you are underage and caught driving under the influence, you could face up to a year in jail and a $3,000 fine.
If convicted of this crime, you will likely lose your driver’s license and will not be able to get a new one until at least 18 years of age. There can be more severe consequences if you are involved in a motor accident and you cause bodily harm to other people.
Illegal Possession of Alcohol by a Minor
As the name suggests, illegal possession of alcohol by a minor is when underage individuals have alcohol. You can be charged with this crime if you have alcohol in your possession but have not consumed it. This crime is usually a gross misdemeanor, and you can face up to a year in jail and a $3,000 fine.
Illegal Entry to an Establishment for Purchasing Alcohol
Underage individuals cannot enter establishments that serve or sell alcohol. If caught entering the premises to purchase alcohol, the police can charge you with this crime. This crime is a misdemeanor offense; the consequences can be up to 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.
Possession of Fake Identification
Since underage individuals cannot possess alcohol, it is illegal for them to own or use fake identification. Depending on the circumstances, the AG can charge you with a misdemeanor or a gross misdemeanor.
The consequences can become more serious if you purchase alcohol for others and if someone hurts or injures themselves. You should never use a fake ID to purchase alcohol for yourself or others.
Turn to CJB Law for Your Underage Drinking Crime
Overall, underage drinking is a severe crime in Minnesota, and many underage drinking crimes can result in harsh penalties. If you are underage and facing charges related to underage drinking, you should speak with a lawyer at CJB Law today to protect your rights.