What are the penalties of underage drinking?

On Behalf of | Jul 25, 2023 | Criminal Defense |

Drinking alcohol is often part of celebrations and other events that involve socialization. However, it could lead to severe repercussions if done without restraint. This is why North Carolina has stringent regulations against violations involving alcohol, including underage drinking.

Teenagers and young adults might not have the self-control to consume alcohol safely. Additionally, underage drinkers could have higher risks of alcohol abuse over time. It could also increase their chances of developing mental health problems, including depression and psychosis.

Due to these hazards, the state imposes hefty penalties for underage drinking. An underage individual caught possessing or buying alcohol could face a Class 1 misdemeanor charge. These offenses could come with the following penalties, depending on the circumstances:

  • Alcohol possession could lead to a Class 3 misdemeanor, resulting in fines and driver’s license revocation.
  • Providing alcohol to an underage person could result in fines, court costs and around 25 hours of community service for the first offense.
  • Furnishing a minor with alcohol could lead to fines, court costs and 25 hours of community service.
  • Any employee found guilty of committing alcohol offenses becomes unemployable at establishments with Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) permits two years after receiving their conviction.
  • Anyone who lent or loaned an ID to an underage individual to access alcohol could also face penalties, including driver’s license revocation.

Still, these sanctions could vary based on the case details. If the violators commit other offenses within the same incident, they could face worse punishments deemed appropriate by the court.

Drinking responsibly

Underage drinking is a severe problem, causing the deaths of young individuals in North Carolina. At their age, they might not have the experience and capacity to be responsible when drinking alcohol.

Implementing strict regulations against underage drinking could help protect the youth and set restrictions, preventing grave consequences.