Underage drinking might seem like a victimless crime, but in DC it is a civil offense that could have long-ranging consequences. A DC fake ID lawyer will be committed to providing you with the knowledge you need to make an informed decision on whether you should seek legal counsel if you or your child are facing a potential underage drinking conviction.
Please read the following sections carefully and consider whether you should call our offices today for a free consultation on this serious matter, particularly if it is accompanied by a DUI charge. Reach out to an accomplished student defense lawyer.
If you have been charged with or arrested for underage drinking, we could help guide you through the trying process that follows. Whether it is representing you in front of a civil court or helping you navigate your school’s disciplinary system, a DC fake ID lawyer at our firm will have the knowledge and experience you need to minimize the impact of your charges or your arrest.
We may be able to help you negotiate lower fines, less intensive community service requirements, or get the charges dropped altogether if proper police procedures were not followed.
Federal law requires all states and districts in the US to set their drinking age to 21 if they wish to receive federal highway funding. Unsurprisingly, all 50 states and the District of Columbia have complied with this request.
Underage drinking in DC falls under The District of Columbia Official Code, Division V. (Local Business Affairs), Title 25 (Alcoholic Beverage Regulation), Chapter 10 (Limitations on Consumers): Purchase, possession or consumption by persons under 21; misrepresentation of age; penalties. For short, we’ll refer to this as DC ST Section 25-1002.
This specific statute deals with Misrepresentation of Age, a misdemeanor offense that is usually handed out when someone uses, attempts to use, or simply possesses a fake ID in order to obtain alcohol.
The specific subsection of interest to us in DC ST Section 25-1002 is (c)(4)(D): “No person under the age of 21 shall be criminally charged with the offense of possession or drinking an alcoholic beverage under this section, but shall be subject to civil penalties under subsection (e) of this section.”
In summary, underage drinking is a civil offense in Washington DC subject to civil penalties. If you are caught drinking or simply carrying an alcoholic beverage, you could find yourself in legal trouble.
The penalties for underage drinking are delineated in DC ST Section 25-1002 (e)(1-3). Penalties can depend on how many times you have been charged.
If you have been caught drinking or in possession of an alcoholic beverage for the first time, you could face a fine of up to $300 and a 90-day suspension of your driving privileges.
You could face a fine of up to $600 and a 180-day suspension of your driving privileges.
You could face a fine of up to $1,000 and a year-long suspension of your driving privileges.
In addition to possible fines and driver’s license suspension, you could be required to attend a “diversion program” that consists of community service, as well as alcohol awareness and education classes. You will be required to pay for those classes on top of the fines you have already accumulated.
Also, any failure to comply with the civil penalties enforced by the court could lead to criminal charges being leveled against you, including contempt of court.
Drinking is often considered a rite of passage in college, but it is important to remember that underage drinking is against the law. In addition to the civil penalties for underage drinking, many colleges in DC, such as George Washington University and Georgetown, have codes of conduct that punish underage drinking.
For a student trying to balance their new-found freedom and various responsibilities, facing a civil charge and a college disciplinary committee simultaneously can be an overwhelming experience. Students might lose their scholarships, their abilities to participate in a varsity sport, and may face suspension and even expulsion from the university.
Even in high school, underage drinking can land a student in serious trouble. The civil penalties can be a major drain on both time and money. An underage drinking conviction might also appear on a student’s high school record if the alleged offense involved the student’s high school. This could potentially affect the admissions decisions of any colleges or graduate schools that student applies to.
Protect your child’s future and consult with a DC fake ID lawyer today. Call (202) 529-9374 for your free consultation with an attorney.
David Benowitz and his firm are the best strategic and compassionate teams you will work with. Mr. Benowitz and his team are diligent and proactive, which is further enhanced by David’s methodic and strategic approach to law. My case was a very complicated and emotionally charged case involving classified information, where I was facing three indictments, two carrying life sentences and one carrying 20 years. Mr. Benowitz utilized a network of lawyers coupled with his own strategy to navigate the case to success! I sincerely recommend David Benowitz quite literally with my life.
I found David to be very dedicated to fighting for your loved one’s rights. I also highly appreciated the fact that David kept us informed and empowered throughout the whole process.
Mr. Benowitz is an incredibly knowledgeable and dedicated professional. His commitments to social justice and community outreach are exemplary. I wholeheartedly recommend him for any matter.