In Massachusetts, selling alcohol to a minor is a criminal offense, similar to other states in the US. A minor, below the age of 21, cannot consume alcohol with a few exceptions. According to Ma. Gen. Laws Ann. 138 Section 34A, minors cannot purchase or attempt to purchase alcohol of any kind. Of course, there are some exceptions to this rule, as minors can possess alcohol with a spouse or member of their immediate family. However, the penalties of providing alcohol to minors can be very severe, even for adults above the age of 21.
Penalties for Providing Alcohol to Minors
There are serious issues for providing alcohol to minors throughout the state of Massachusetts. Being convicted for providing alcohol to minors is a misdemeanor, and the penalty can vary depending on the conviction you have.
Carrying, Transportation, or Possession of alcohol
Upon the first conviction, the individual will have to pay a fine of $50 if it is their first offense. However, in the event of two or more arrests, they will have to pay a fine of $150. Other than the fines, the individual will also lose their license for 90 days, or the right to operate a vehicle. This means they will not be able to drive their car or any other vehicle, even if they have a job.
Purchasing, Arranging or Attempting to Purchase Alcohol
While still a misdemeanor, the penalties for purchasing or attempting to purchase alcohol is significantly greater than other smaller felonies. The accused will face a fine of $300, along with a report of the conviction that the sentencing court sends to the registrar of motor vehicles. The registrar will suspend the defendant’s license for a period of 180 days.
Fake or Fraudulent Identification
Minors may also try to purchase or acquire alcohol by providing a fake ID to the establishment. This offense is also a misdemeanor but is separate from the aforementioned offense. This particular offense carries more penalties, like a fine of up to $200, and a maximum of three months in jail. The sentence, of course, depends on the judge that passes it.
Underage drinking laws can be a little difficult to traverse, especially with the many legal bindings. Therefore, if you want to learn more about penalties of alcohol among minors, contact Urbelis Law at (617) 830-2188 to better understand these legal bindings.