Minor in Possession & Underage Drinking in Utah
If you or your minor child has been charged with underage drinking, underage possession of alcohol, or underage DUI in Utah, the decisions you make in the first few days will have lasting repercussions. The smartest thing you can do is contact a criminal defense attorney with experience in underage alcohol violations. A criminal defense lawyer can explain you rights and partner with you as you work through the Utah juvenile justice system. Penalties are almost always less severe when you have an attorney working on your behalf. The lawyers at Intermountain Legal have handled thousands of alcohol related cases and juvenile cases in Utah. Their background in prosecution in the greater Salt Lake City area puts them in a unique position to be able to work with Utah judges and prosecutors. Their team can ensure that your rights are protected and that you get the best possible resolution of your case so that an underage drinking charge does not define your life for years to come.
Underage Drinking Laws
The underage drinking laws in Utah are very strict. It is illegal, with no exceptions, for a person under 21 years of age to drink alcohol, buy alcohol, or ask another person to buy alcohol for them.
Underage Drinking Penalties
Utah’s strict alcohol laws are known as the “NOT-A-DROP” rules. Penalties for violating any of these laws in Utah are severe. They may include hundreds of dollars in fines and even jail time. Utah courts could also order that the minor participate in a substance abuse class. A first time violation for underage drinking or possession of alcohol can result in a 90 day driver’s license suspension. A second violation within three years can result in a driver’s license being suspended for one year. A minor who violates underage drinking laws before they are old enough to have a Utah driver’s license will be denied application for a driver’s license until 90 days after they become old enough to legally apply for their license.
Utah has a “ZERO TOLERANCE” policy for underage DUI. While the legal blood alcohol limit for an adult is .08, drivers under 21 years old may not operate a vehicle with ANY measurable amount of alcohol in their bodies.
Use of Fake ID in Utah
Utah also has strict laws preventing a person under 21 years of age from misrepresenting their age or using a fake ID to buy or drink alcohol. Possible consequences included suspension of the minor’s driver’s license. The consequences to retailers who sell alcohol to minors are also severe. In order to minimize their own liability, retailers are permitted to confiscate fake IDs. The retailer may also detain the underage person if they suspect the minor is trying to use a fake ID to buy alcohol. Utah law also permits a retailer to sue an underage person who uses a fake ID to buy alcohol to recover any losses or fines the retailer suffers as a result of the sale.
Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney Today
Parents occasionally encourage their teenagers to accept responsibility for their actions by pleading guilty to underage drinking charges. This is often not the best approach since the penalties can follow a minor for years. An experienced attorney can help to minimize the consequences of one bad choice. Contact the Salt Lake City-based criminal defense lawyers at Intermountain Legal for a free consultation.