Common Underage Alcohol Crimes
Underage drinking is taken very seriously in North Carolina, and it’s easy to find yourself or your child charged with a crime as the result of a simple error in judgment. Unfortunately, these cases are prosecuted very aggressively and can result in significant penalties such as driver’s license revocation, fines, and other consequences.
If you or your child are dealing with accusations of underage alcohol crimes, we can help you navigate the charges and fight to get a fair result. Don’t let the prosecution bully you into accepting a one-sided plea agreement. Call a Charlotte underage drinking lawyer from Randall & Stump, PLLC at (980) 237-4579, or complete our online contact form to schedule a free consultation of your case.
Purchase, Possession, and Consumption
Under North Carolina law, it is illegal for people under the age of 21 to purchase, possess, or consume alcohol. There are, however, a few exceptions to this rule:
- Alcohol use as part of a religious ceremony in an organized church
- Serving alcohol as part of your employment
- Working with alcohol for educational purposes as part of a licensed and accredited culinary program
The purchase, possession, or consumption outside of these exceptions could result in a criminal charge.
Possession, purchase, or consumption of alcohol by a minor between the ages of 18 and 21 is a class 2 misdemeanor. If convicted, you could face up to 60 days of community, intermediate, or active punishment; a permanent criminal record; and collateral consequences that affect other areas of your life.
Use or Attempted Use of False Identification
Another common charge related to underage drinking is the use and possession of fake identification. North Carolina prohibits the use of false identification to purchase alcohol or gain entry to an establishment where alcohol is sold, such as a dance club or bar. You can’t use a fraudulent ID that belongs to someone else. In addition, it is also against the law to allow someone else to use your identification.
Aiding Another Minor in Obtaining Alcohol
It’s also against the law in North Carolina for one minor to help another obtain alcohol. This could include providing them with a false ID, sneaking them into a bar where they work, or otherwise providing them with alcohol.
Driving While Impaired by Alcohol
North Carolina is a zero-tolerance state when it comes to people under the age of 21 driving while under the influence of alcohol. This means that you can be charged with DWI (driving while impaired) if you have any amount of alcohol in your system, even if it’s well under the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit of .08%.
If you’ve been charged with drunk driving while under the age of 21, you are now facing very serious penalties. Under NC law, underage DWIs are class 2 misdemeanors punishable by one to 60 days’ incarceration, fines, collateral consequences, and more.
Contact Randall & Stump, PLLC for Help with Your Charlotte Underage Alcohol Charges
If convicted of an underage alcohol offense, your charge could impact your future in more ways than you expect. It may make it difficult to get into specific schools or find employment. It could make it challenging to maintain a driver’s license that allows you to travel freely. You will also need to deal with the stigma of a criminal record. The bottom line is that you need someone on your side to make sure you get a fair result. If you or your child is facing alcohol-related charges as a minor in North Carolina, the criminal defense attorneys at Randall & Stump, PLLC can help.