How underage drinking is punished in Maryland

On Behalf of | Aug 31, 2017 | Underage Drinking

In Maryland, alcohol restrictions are placed on the licenses of those under 21 years of age. If you’re subject to the “Under 21 Alcohol Restriction,” then it’s illegal for you to consume, purchase or possess alcoholic beverages.

Your first violation of this restriction will result in you being assessed a $500 fine. Any subsequent offenses will each carry a $1,000 one. If you violate this rule, then you’ll also be required to have an ignition interlock device (IID) installed on your vehicle. If you fail to do this, then your license will automatically be suspended.

Subsequent convictions for the same crime within a five-year period will result in you having to participate in the ignition interlock program for an extended amount of time. How long you’ll be required to have the device installed for depends greatly on how many previous convictions the defendant has for the same offense.

Just as purchasing, possessing and consuming alcohol under the age of 21 is illegal in Maryland, so too is having a fake ID. If you are found to be in possession of one, you may be sentenced to as much as two months in prison or be assessed a fine as high as $500 for your first offense.

You will also automatically have your own driver’s license docked 12 points. Depending on how many point reductions you already have, this could end up with your license being either revoked or suspended.

If you happen to happen to be the person who is selling the fake IDs, then the penalties are far greater. You could be assessed a fine as high as $2,000 and be imprisoned up to two years for each fake ID you produced.

Penalties associated with underage drinking are set high as a way of attempting to discourage individuals from breaking the law. If you’ve been charged with an alcohol-related offense, then it’s important to note that it can affect your ability to get into or complete school or to qualify for jobs.

In working together with a Baltimore drunk driving defense attorney, it’s possible that he or she can help you come up with a defense strategy to respond to the charges that have been waged against you.

Source: Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Division, “Maryland impaired driving laws,” accessed Aug. 31, 2017

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