Furnishing alcohol to minors is a violation that involves providing alcoholic beverages to persons who are under the legal drinking age. This is a serious violation and is often more widespread than people realize. Furnishing alcohol to minors can involve actions such as:
- Dram shop or liquor shop owners selling alcohol to minors
- Restaurants or bars serving alcohol to minors
- Adults providing alcohol to minors at a home setting
- Persons providing alcohol to underage people in a party environment
- Various other situations in different settings
Each state has different laws when it comes to providing alcohol with minors. In some states, it may actually be legal for minors to consume alcohol, given certain conditions (such as in a religious setting). However, in most cases, serving or giving alcohol to a minor will result in legal consequences.
Also, in many instances, the adult does not actually have to physically provide the minor with alcohol in order to be held liable. For instance, if an adult knew or should have known that alcohol was being served to minors at their home, and did nothing to prevent it, they may be found liable.
Furnishing alcohol to minors can result in various legal punishments. These may vary depending on the state as well as other factors, such as the age of the person and whether or not any injuries occurred as a result. Some punishments may include:
- Infractions, citations, or fines
- Misdemeanor charges (can often result in some jail time)
- Loss of liquor license, restaurant license, etc.
In some cases, legal defenses may be available. For instance, if it can be shown that the drink was not actually an alcoholic beverage, it may serve as a defense. Also, as mentioned, some states have exceptions to laws that allow a minor to drink alcohol. These may include certain religious rites or during certain family events. Again, these will depend on the state’s laws.
If you have any questions, concerns, or legal issues involving alcohol laws, you may need to hire a lawyer for assistance. A qualified criminal law attorney can provide you with legal advice and information to help you during the legal process. An attorney can be on hand to perform legal research and can represent you during any type of court meeting or hearing.