At the Law Offices of Wiley Nichol, we understand that getting a citation for underage drinking can be embarrassing, frustrating, and confusing. That being said, many people can easily reduce their risk of getting a drinking ticket by knowing their rights and the law.
In the state of North Carolina it is illegal to:
· Possess, purchase, or attempt to purchase alcohol if you are under the age of 21. This includes unopened alcohol and alcohol in your car.
· Use a fake ID to purchase or attempt to purchase alcohol
· Use a fake ID to get into an over 21 drinking establishment
· Drink and Drive. While you can get a DUI for having a blood alcohol content (BAC) of at least 0.08 if you are 21 and over, you can get a DUI for having any alcohol in your system if you are under 21.
· Possess an open container of alcohol in any publicly owned areas.
Typical legal consequences for drinking offenses include a misdemeanor charge, fines, and court costs. Additionally, many underage drinkers are required to complete an alcohol education course as well as a 1-on-1 alcohol assessment.
A DUI typically ends in a mandatory 1-year revocation of your Driver’s License for the first offense. Depending on the situation, underage drinkers may even face imprisonment.
If you are stopped by the police for drinking, know your rights
1. Police Questions? You are not required to answer any questions.
2. If police request to search your person or belongings, state clearly, for the officer and witnesses to hear, "I do not consent to a search." This also goes for resisting arrest. Do not resist a police officer. Simply state, “I do not consent to a search” loudly and clearly enough so the officer and any witnesses around you can hear.
3. If an officer asks for you to submit to a breathalyzer and you haven’t been stopped while driving a car,
do not submit to a breathalyzer. If you are a passenger in a vehicle, you are also not required to submit to a breathalyzer unless you are underage and visibly intoxicated.
4. If you are stopped while driving, make sure to display your driver’s license, name, and address as well as the name and address of the vehicle’s owner. You may also be asked to perform roadside tests, but you are not legally required to do so.
If you have received an underage drinking ticket in Raleigh or need help with a Wake County DWI, call The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel at 919-585-1486 for a free consultation with one of our experienced Wake County DWI lawyers.