Underage Drinking Laws

Penalty for Underage drinking

The drinking age limit established throughout the United States is 21 years of age; however, each state enforces this limit in different ways. These are possible punishments for an individual who has been convicted for possessing, attempting to purchase, or consuming alcohol under the age of 21. This section is meant to be a general list of possible punishments. This is not an extensive list of each jurisdictional authority but a guideline of some of the possible punishments an individual may face if found to be underage drinking in each state.

Ohio Underage Drinking Law

No person under the age of 21 shall attempt to purchase, possess, or consume any alcohol in a public or private location. If in violation of the alcohol provision, a minor is guilty of a 1st degree misdemeanor. The minor may be subject to a fine and loss of driving privileges upon conviction.

Source: ORC Ann. 4301.69 (E)(1), ORC Ann. 4301.99

Pennsylvania Underage Drinking Law

A person under 21 who attempts to purchase, consume, or possess alcohol will be fined up to $500 on the first offense and $1,000 for each subsequent offense. The minor's driver's license may also be suspended for up to 90 days for the first offense and up to one year for the second offense.

Source: 18 Pa.C.S. § 6310.4, 18 Pa.C.S. § 6308

Virginia Underage Drinking Law

No person under 21 years of age shall possess, consume, or attempt to buy alcohol. If found guilty, the minor may be required to pay a mandatory minimum fine of $500 or be ordered to perform at least 50 hours of community service. The minor's license to operate a motor vehicle will be suspended for six months to one year.

Source: Va. Code Ann. § 4.1-305

West Virginia Underage Drinking Law

A person under 21 years of age possessing, consuming or attempting to purchase alcohol is fined up to $500. A minor in violation can also be placed on probation for up to one year.

Source: W. Va. Code § 11-16-19

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