Minors and Alcohol

California State Laws Regarding Minors and AlcoholMinor in Possession of Alcohol - Business and Professions Code Section 25662
25662 BP makes it a misdemeanor for anyone under 21 to possess an alcoholic beverage in a public area. Exceptions to this include transporting alcohol as part of employment or at the request of a parent or guardian (see Vehicle Code Section 23224 below). Penalties include a fine of $250 and 24 to 32 hours of community service for a first offense. Subsequent offenses come with fines of up to $500 and 36 to 48 hours of community service. A person convicted of violating this code is also subject to the penalties mandated under Vehicle Code Section 13202.5, explained below.

Possession of Alcohol in a Vehicle - Vehicle Code Section 23224
23224 VC makes it a misdemeanor for anyone under 21 to drive with an alcoholic beverage in the car unless accompanied by - or at the request of - a parent or guardian, or as part of employment. Violations of this law result in impoundment of the offender's vehicle for one to 30 days, and come with a fines of up to $1000 and jail time of up to six months. A person convicted of violating this code is also subject to the penalties mandated under Vehicle Code Section 13202.5.

Purchase of Alcohol or Consumption of Alcohol in On-Sale Premises - Business and Professions Code Section 25658
25658 BP makes it a misdemeanor for anyone under 21 to purchase alcohol or consume alcohol in an establishment such as a bar or restaurant. Penalties include a fine of $250 and 24 to 32 hours of community service for a first offense. Subsequent offenses come with fines of up to $500 and 36 to 48 hours of community service. Violators of this code are also subject to Vehicle Code Section 13202.5.

Fake IDs - Business and Professions Code Section 25661
25661 BP makes it a misdemeanor for anyone under 21 to use false identification to attempt to purchase alcohol. Fines are the same as for purchase of alcohol listed in the paragraph above.

Suspension of Driving Privileges - Vehicle Code Section 13202.5
13202.5 VC states that convictions for the laws listed above result in the suspension of driving privileges for one year. Moreover, if the convicted person hasn't yet acquired a driver's license, DMV is ordered to delay issuing a license for one year after the convicted person becomes eligible to drive. Each additional violation results in another one year delay in issuance of the driver's license.

Local OrdinancesIn addition to the state laws outlined above, local governments can have their own ordinances regulating alcohol consumption. The city of Davis, for example, has an Open Container Ordinance that makes it illegal to possess or consume alcohol in designated public sites, including sidewalks, bike paths, parks, and parking lots. The fine for violation of this ordinance is $152.

Call (916) 442-1200 for a Free and Confidential ConsultationI've represented numerous minors who, because of an error in judgment, find themselves facing criminal charges for violation of laws relating to alcohol. Contact me now so we can discuss your case and review the defense options available.