When it comes to facing drinking penalties, minors have a few more issues than someone of legal drinking age. Due to North Carolina state law, as a minor, any amount of alcohol in the system will result in DWI charges. While this might seem harsh to some, particularly those minors, this law is meant to act as a strong deterrent to those youngsters considering taking a risk. But, what you might not realize, is that it isn’t just drinking and driving that can result in drinking charges for a minor. In fact, there are a few other ways that a minor can end up in trouble with the police in reference to alcohol…
Drinking Penalties for Minors: More Risk Than Just DWI
Operating a vehicle with any alcohol in your system
First, and most obviously, driving with any alcohol in your system while under 21 years old results in a drinking ticket. Since the state has a zero tolerance policy, that means any BAC over .00 is cause for a ticket. In fact, you can receive a drinking violation for this even if you are not driving. If you are in the car during a stop, and the officer finds a reason to breathalyze— you can still receive a ticket.
Attempting to purchase alcohol
If you are caught attempting to purchase alcohol as a minor, you will receive a drinking ticket. Even if you attempt to purchase unsuccessfully, officers can still issue a ticket for the attempt.
Using a fake ID
Using a fake ID can warrant a drinking violation. In some cases, people may purchase fake ID, using another name. These types of IDs are illegal and you can face a ticket for using one. In other cases, people may use a friend’s ID to purchase alcohol. Even though this is a valid ID, if it isn’t yours, it can result in a ticket. Furthermore, the person who’s ID it is may get in trouble as well.
Helping a minor purchase alcohol
In the case that you are 21, helping a minor purchase alcohol is grounds for a charge. Assisting someone under 21 to get alcohol can lead to tickets for both you and the minor.
In short actions with alcohol as a minor can lead to drinking penalties— no matter the circumstance. If you happen to face a drinking charge, you will lose your license for a 30 day period. Furthermore, after your court case, you may lose your license for an additional year.