While underage drinking may not seem like a decision that will have long term consequences, many Berks County college students find out the hard way that the penalties can be stiff. While it is most commonly referred to as the underage drinking law, the law in Pennsylvania penalizes more than just the consumption of alcohol by a person under the age of 21. In Pennsylvania it is illegal for a person under the age of 21 to attempt to purchase as well as to purchase, consume, possess or knowingly and intentionally transport liquor or malt or brewed beverages. The punishment for violating the underage drinking law is a fine and a driver’s license suspension. For a first offense underage drinking charge in Berks County, a fine of up to $500 is permitted and a 90 day license suspension is required. A second conviction for underage drinking involves a penalty of a fine not to exceed $1,000 and a 1 year license suspension. Third and subsequent offenses subject the defendant to a fine of up to $1,000 and a 2 year license suspension.
Attorney Dan Nevins recently represented a Kutztown University student charged with violating the underage drinking law. This client was charged for being the driver of a car which contained passengers over the age of 21 who were transporting a keg. There was also a bottle of liquor in the car that the client was accused of possessing. After consultation with Attorney Nevins, this client decided to proceed to a hearing in front of the Magisterial District Judge and Attorney Nevins convinced the Court that the client was not guilty of the charges. Because this Kutztown University client had previously been convicted of violating the underage drinking law, a finding of guilt would have resulted in a $1,000 fine and a 1 year driver’s license suspension. Thanks to the efforts of Attorney Nevins, our client walked away without any penalty.
If you’re a Kutztown University student who has been charged with violating the underage drinking law, contact our experienced Berks County criminal defense attorneys to discuss your options. Call us at 610-372-5128 or email at [email protected]