Alcohol-related crimes are crimes wherein the consumption, sale, or distribution of alcoholic beverages are major factors. Perhaps the most well-known alcohol-related crime is driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI or DWI). State laws may vary regarding DUI laws, but they are generally treated quite strictly.
Some other alcohol related crimes may include:
- Selling alcohol to a minor
- Serving alcohol to a person who is visibly intoxicated (this may be a crime in some jurisdictions)
- Flying while intoxicated
- Minor in possession of alcohol
- Boating under the influence
- Using a fake ID to buy alcohol
- Public drunkenness (especially in a restricted zone such as a school)
- Operating an amusement ride while under the influence
- Open container violations
Consumption of alcohol may be a factor in many other types of crimes as well, such as assault and battery, recklessness, or various types of negligence.
What Are the Punishments for Alcohol-Related Crimes?
This depends on the type of crime. For simpler crimes such as public intoxication, punishments may include a citation and a small fine. For more serious crimes, such as DUI resulting in serious bodily harm to another person, misdemeanor or even felony charges can result. These may lead to punishments such as jail or prison time, criminal fines, and a loss of driving privileges for a period of time.
Repeat offenses of the same alcohol-related crime can result in greater penalties. For instance, repeat DUI’s can result in drastically higher fines and longer sentences than first-time DUI offenses.
Are There Any Alternative Remedies Available for Alcohol Offenses?
Some alcohol-related crimes may not always involve jail time. For instance, crimes that involve the sale of alcohol may often result in a suspension or loss of an alcohol selling permit. This can sometimes only be temporary depending on the local laws and the nature of the crime.
Other crimes, such as first-time DUI offenses, may allow the offender to take remedial courses (such as a substance abuse class) in exchange for lesser fines or lesser jail time. The person usually has to qualify, and such alternatives are usually only available for first-time offenders.
Do I Need a Lawyer for Assistance with Alcohol-Related Crime Laws?
Alcohol crimes can often lead to serious legal consequences. Even minor offenses can result in criminal consequences depending on the person’s record and the surrounding circumstances. You may wish to hire a DUI/DWI lawyer in your area if you need help with alcohol-related crime laws. Your lawyer can provide you with advice and instructions on how to proceed. If you need to attend any court proceedings, your lawyer can provide you with representation during trial.