Legal Consequences of Underage Drinking in Ohio

Underage Drinking in OhioUnderage drinking is a serious crime in Ohio. The state generally prohibits anyone under that age of 21 from possessing or consuming alcohol. If you are under the age of 21 and possess or consume alcohol, it is a first-degree misdemeanor offense. The maximum sentence is a $1,000 fine and six months in jail. Though this severe sentence is rarely imposed, the judge does have the latitude to make an example of you. Any of the three elements of possessing, consuming, or being intoxicated are sufficient to be arrested and charged with the offense.

On a first offense a youth convicted of underage drinking may enter into a diversion program. Exceptions to underage drinking laws are if the underage drinker is with their parents and the parents consent to their alcohol consumption; or if the underage drinker has a spouse of legal age; or if there is a religious, educational or medical purpose.

If the underage drinking violation occurs in a motor vehicle, underage drinkers may have their license suspended.  If an underage drinker’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is over the limit of .02 BAC, he or she may be fined a minimum of $250 and face up to 30 days imprisonment. This charge is accompanied by a mandatory 90-day license suspension with additional fees such as a license reinstatement fee.  Subsequent offenses will increase the penalties for underage drinking.

Also, parents are prohibited from hosting drinking parties for underage drinkers. Parents cannot give alcohol to their teen’s friends under the age of 21, under any circumstance, even in the parent’s own home, and even with their parent’s permission.  In addition, parents cannot knowingly allow a person under 21, other than their own child, to remain in their home or on their property while consuming or possessing alcohol. Parents violating this law face a $1,000 fine and up to 6 months in prison. Others can sue you if you give alcohol to anyone under 21 and they then hurt someone, hurt themselves, or cause damage to property. Officers can take any alcohol, money or property used in committing the offense.

Do You Need a Juvenile Criminal Defense Lawyer in Columbus, Ohio?

If your child is facing prosecution for underage drinking, you need to get your child the skilled, trusted legal representation Probst Law Office offers.  Don’t let a poor momentary choice shape and ruin your child’s life. There are many variables that come into play when your child is facing underage drinking charges. Circumstances can quickly spiral out of control if you don’t have proper legal representation. The skilled, trusted legal representation at Probst Law Office offers the help you need to be sure your child has the representation he or she deserves.  Get the experience, skill, and knowledge you need when you hire Michael Probst as your attorney.  Contact Michael today for your free consultation, or call now at 614-232-8890.