What Are the Underage Drinking Laws in Pennsylvania?

March 2, 2022

underage drinking

The lawful age to buy or drink liquor in Pennsylvania is 21. Under Pennsylvania law, it is unlawful for anybody under 21 to buy, drink, possess, or transport alcohol, malt, or mixed drinks. The punishments for a conviction are obligatory fines and loss of driving privileges. These fines and subsequent suspensions increase with each ensuing conviction.

A first conviction will yield the loss of driving privileges for 90 days; with a subsequent conviction, the suspension is extended for one year; for a third or ensuing conviction, the suspension is for two years. A conviction is characterized as any finding of culpability via trial or guilty plea, arbitration in adolescent court, or entrance into any pre-adjudication program.

Those charged with violating these laws are urged to contact a lawyer experienced in criminal defense.

Using Fake IDs

It is against the law for anybody younger than 21 to dishonestly present themselves to be 21 or request any authorized vendor, merchant, or other individual to furnish any alcoholic drinks. A first infringement of this provision is a summary offense. A second of subsequent violation is a misdemeanor of the third degree

It is an offense, a misdemeanor of the second degree, to produce or sell a proof of age card that contains a bogus portrayal of somebody’s image, birth date, or age. It is a wrongdoing for anybody younger than 21 to use or possess a bogus distinguishing proof of age card. A first infringement of this arrangement is a summary offense. A subsequent infringement is a misdemeanor of the third degree. Both offenses involve obligatory driver license suspension.

Convictions and Deviation Programs

Every municipality treats these offenses with varying punishments. A few regions in the state have set projects that apply to all District Justice Courts. Others pass on it to each District Magisterial Judge to create and execute a program that might circumvent the obligatory permit suspension as well as fines. An individual who is sentenced for an underage drinking offense might be eligible for a work/school permit and may meet all requirements for an expungement of their record after turning the age of 21.

Associated Cost of Getting a DUI

Driving under the influence (DUI) costs are dependent on several factors, including blood alcohol content, place of arrest, and number of transgressions. The consequence on a driver’s wallet starts the moment they are detained by police. Here are a few expenses associated with a DUI, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation:

  • Traffic fine: $300 to $10,000 depending on blood alcohol content and number of offenses
  • Towing vehicle: $50 flat fee plus mileage
  • Impound: $75 to $175 per day
  • Legal fees: $2,000 to $8,000 or more
  • Alcohol evaluation: $35-$100
  • Accelerated rehabilitative disposition (ARD): $100 to $1,800
  • Education and treatment: $100 to $1,000 or more
  • License restoration: $76 non-commercial, $184 commercial
  • Insurance premium: increase of about $1,000 a year or cancellation of policy

Aside from the financial ramifications of a DUI arrest, you can be expected to repay the community in several aspects. You will have to appear in court and be required to serve community service; or go to jail, which will lead to lost time and lost wages, putting your occupation in jeopardy. Being convicted of a DUI also hinders your chances of landing a job in the future, something that you do not want on your record.

West Chester Criminal Defense Lawyers at the Law Offices of Heather J. Mattes Fight for Those Wrongfully Charged with Drunk Driving or Related Offenses

A DUI conviction or a charge of underage drinking is a serious matter. Fighting these charges takes knowledgeable lawyers who understand how to navigate through the complex legal process and access options available to you. If you or a loved one has been charged with a DUI or face related charges, contact the West Chester criminal defense lawyers at the Law Offices of Heather J. Mattes.  Our experienced team will gather all the details of your case and fight to get the best possible outcome for you. Call us today at 610-431-7900 or fill out our online form for a free consultation. With our offices located in West Chester, Pennsylvania, we proudly serve clients in Chester County, Bucks County, Delaware County, Lehigh County, Montgomery County, and Philadelphia County.

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