College Drinking Crimes

Most people experience the time for their lives in college. While you’re sure to have plenty of crazy stories to tell to friends and family come your next break, you don’t want one of them to be about the time you spent in jail. It’s important that you know what kind of trouble you can get into incase you cross the line. Here are the most common criminal drinking offenses college students commit and are punished for during the semester.

Minor in Possession. Anyone who is under the age of 21 and is caught with the possession of alcohol is violating the law. If there is enough evidence proving that the minor has been drinking, or even if the minor is merely holding an open bottle of alcohol, a police officer has the right to issue the underage student a citation. In special circumstances, they may even take the student to jail. A minor in possession is usually a misdemeanor offense, punishable up to a $500 fine, depending on the state you reside in. If you do not have a record, fines may be reduced or swiped clean if you complete a program in alcohol education or complete a number of community service hours. Some states are also known to revoke your driver’s license for a period of time, ranging from 30 days to a year.

Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor. Even if you are of the legal drinking age, supplying anyone who is not 21 with alcohol either by purchasing them alcohol from the store or serving them alcohol at a party you are throwing is committing a crime. Even if you did not personally put the alcohol in a person’s hand “” if you simply made the alcohol available at a party you’re hosting where everyone has access to it – you are committing a crime. If there is enough evidence proving you contributed to the delinquency of a minor, a police officer has the right to issue you a citation or take you to jail. Contributing to the delinquency of a minor is misdemeanor and is punishable up to a $4,000 fine or in extreme cases, up to one year in jail, again, depending on what state you reside in.

Driving While Intoxicated/Under the Influence. If you risk drinking and driving or are driving under the influence of drugs or prescribed or non-prescribed medication that advises you not to drive or operate heavy machinery, you are committing a crime. Punishment varies by state and also depends on if you have any prior convictions for a similar offense, but most states tend to issue a fine of up to $4,000, up to a year-long jail sentence, community service requirements, mandatory attendance at an alcohol and drug education program, and immediate revocation of your driver’s license for a minimum of 30 days. Punishment is subject to intensify if you injure or kill someone due to your recklessness.

Public Intoxication. Even if you don’t get behind the wheel and are of the legal drinking age, you can get into trouble if you appear in a public place and an officer finds that you may be endangering yourself or may be a danger to the people around you. This is usually justified by any offensive drunkard conduct you may condone in which annoys other people in your vicinity. Laws vary in states, but it is a misdemeanor offense. Punishment usually includes being taken to a medical facility or their home. Usually only in extreme cases do police officers take people to jail.

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