Maryland laws related to underage drinking

| Jan 26, 2018 | Underage Drinking

Young people under the legal drinking age can find all kinds of ways to get alcohol if they’re determined to do so. Possession, consumption or purchase of alcohol is illegal for anyone under 21, and one offense can result in a $500 fine. That amount gets doubled for the second or any subsequent offense.

Of course, driving under the influence is probably the most dangerous alcohol-related activity in which a person can engage. The legal blood alcohol content (BAC) for underage drivers in Maryland is 0.02 percent. Licenses for young drivers come clearly printed with an “Under 21 Alcohol Restriction.”

Some of the methods that young people use to obtain alcohol, such as showing fake identification, can land them in additional legal trouble. Those under 21 who are found with a fake ID can be fined $500 and even be sentenced to two months behind bars. If you are under 21 and in possession of a fake ID, you face a fine of up to $500 and as long as 2 months in prison. That’s in addition to potentially having your driver’s license suspended.

Adults who knowingly sell or provide alcohol or fake IDs to underage Marylanders may also find themselves facing charges. The fine for furnishing alcohol can run up to $2,500 for the first offense and double that for future offenses.

The penalty for selling fake IDs can run as high as $2,000 and may also carry a sentence of two years behind bars. You could also be prosecuted for a federal crime for providing false identification.

If your child is arrested for any offense related to alcohol or fake IDs, it’s essential to take the matter seriously and seek experienced legal guidance. A conviction could have a lasting impact on his or her future.

Source: Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration, “Maryland Impaired Driving Laws,” accessed Jan. 22, 2018

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