It’s a part of growing up. Teenage drinking can be a normal part of testing the boundaries or just curiosity, but in North Carolina, the stakes can be higher than you may think. Especially in metro areas like Charlotte, teen drinking is all too prevalent, and the penalties are harsh.
With the “zero tolerance” stance, anyone under the age of 21 who drinks or even possesses alcohol can be convicted of an underage drinking offense. Also, you could find yourself being charged with Driving After Consuming, a specific type of DWI. This underage DUI charge results when an underage driver consumes ANY alcohol and drives. The complexity of underage alcohol laws and the possible consequences require the help of a good traffic attorney who understands underage drinking charges.
Keep in mind that underage drinking while driving charges are criminal and, without a DUI lawyer, could lead to having your license revoked, permanently harming your driving record and other long-range repercussions. Your employment opportunities and, for college students, sanctions by universities in North Carolina, are just some of the areas that could be negatively impacted.
A DUI attorney can minimize the impact and costs of these charges because they are experienced with underage offenses and can negotiate a better deal with the prosecution. An experienced DWI attorney can help you keep your license, prevent insurance premium increases, and reduce other harmful consequences.
Here are just some of the associated charges you can face if you are caught drinking underage:
- Underage Possession of Alcohol, or Minor in Possession, is a criminal offense because it is illegal for anyone under 21 to possess alcohol.
- Purchase of Alcohol by Underage Persons. If you’re under 21, it is illegal to buy alcohol even if you don’t consume it and you could still be charged with an underage drinking offense.
- Fake I.D. In North Carolina, it’s illegal for anyone under 21 to use a fake I.D. To get into a club or bar or to purchase or attempt to purchase alcohol. You could also face forgery or identity theft charges.
- Underage DWI. A DWI charge is bad enough for someone of legal drinking age, but for underage defendants, the punishment can be far stricter.
Don’t let an underage drinking charge ruin your life. Call an experienced traffic defense attorney at the Jason Reece Law Firm to learn more about how to protect yourself.