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Legal Penalties for Underage Drinking

Wednesday, July 02nd, 2008

The country is cracking down on underage drinking, and Pennsylvania is no exception.

Driver's license suspension: When a person under 21 years of age is charged with underage drinking, his or her driver's license will be automatically suspended by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation for 90 days. If it is a minor's second offense, the license suspension may even be for one year. The driver's license suspension could occur whether or not the citation is upheld, and it is completely separate from any court proceeding.
School disciplinary action: The minor's high school or college may take disciplinary action against a minor who is convicted of underage drinking, including academic probation, suspension, expulsion and removal from sports teams and extracurricular activities.
Criminal proceedings against the minor: The district attorney's office may prosecute a minor on criminal charges, especially if the minor is accused of a DUI/DWI. The district attorney's office may want to try the minor in adult criminal court rather than in juvenile court.
Criminal proceedings against parents: Parents can be charged with criminal conduct as a result of underage drinking that occurs at their house, sometimes even if the parents are not home or are unaware that the drinking occurred.

Contact defense attorneys Stanton M. Lacks and Adam M. Yanoff for a free consultation today.

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