Underage Drinking, Alcohol, and the Law

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.




Wiley Nickel

Wiley Nickel lives and works in Cary, North Carolina. In 1998, he graduated from Tulane University with a major in Political Science and a minor in History. After college Wiley went to work for Al Gore and travelled with the Vice President as part of his national advance staff. Following the Gore campaign he earned his law degree from the Pepperdine University School of Law in 2005. While in law school Wiley worked as a law clerk in the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office where he gained valuable criminal trial experience before taking and passing the California bar exam. His first job out of law school was for the Merced County District Attorney’s Office where he worked as a Deputy District Attorney with a focus on prosecuting DWI offenders. Wiley later joined the Law Offices of Joseph Uremovic where he focused on civil litigation and family law. When the opportunity came to join the Obama campaign in 2008 Wiley jumped at the chance. He spent three years travelling with President Obama as a member of his national advance team. In 2011 Wiley left his work for the White House to return to the practice of law. Wiley devotes the majority of his practice to the areas of criminal law, family law, traffic tickets and DMV issues. The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel was started with the goal of providing the best representation possible for all of his clients. Experienced, Compassionate, Aggressive Criminal Defense While defense attorney Wiley Nickel works as the primary attorney for all of his cases, he does have an associate attorney, a team of investigators, forensic consultants, and support staff to call on to help achieve the best possible result in every case. He limits his case load so that he can focus on providing the best possible legal defense to all of his clients. Every case is a top priority and the goal is to have your case dismissed with a focus on being able to expunge your charges at the end of the process. When he is not working, Wiley is an avid family man, distance runner and golfer. He loves North Carolina college sports and is hoping this is the year for Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers. Wiley is licensed to practice law in North Carolina and California.