One of the most common juvenile crimes youths in America face involves the use and/or possession of alcohol. All states have created laws defining the age at which it is legal to consume and possess alcoholic beverages. Here in Massachusetts, the following laws apply to all juveniles.
- A person must be no less than 21 years old to purchase alcohol
- A person less than 21 years old may consume alcohol but only when a parent, guardian or legal-age spouse provides the beverage
- The blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit for those under 21 is .02%
Youths often want to participate in grown-up activities, especially when they have reached the legal age of adulthood, which is 18 years. Allegations of juvenile crimes involving alcohol can arise because of the discrepancy between the age of adulthood and the legal drinking age.
For example, a person 19 years of age is an adult. Yet, he or she may not realize that although they are an adult, it is still illegal to consume (aside from the exception discussed above), possess or purchase alcohol. Doing so could lead to an arrest and possible conviction on minor in possession of alcohol charges.
In cases involving an arrest on minor in possession charges, it is critical to seek legal assistance. An attorney can fight against juvenile crimes involving alcohol in several ways. One way is to argue that the minor never consumed or possessed alcohol. Another way is arguing that the minor's consumption was legal in accordance with state laws.
The takeaway here is to continue pursuing a defense against alcohol-related juvenile crimes. Doing so gives youths the best chance of avoiding a criminal record, which can haunt a young life for years to come.