3 Important Things To Know About Underage Drinking

As a college student — or the parent of a student — you have a lot on your mind. It's a competitive world out there, and the pressures from school and jobs are intense. Plus, it's important to enjoy your social life.

At Decker Bradburn, Attorneys at Law, in State College, we realize that college life includes the potential for various legal issues, especially those regarding alcohol. If you have already run into trouble, we can help guide you toward a resolution that respects your rights and interests.

There are also some things that are good to know sooner rather than later. That is why, on this page, we discuss three things that Penn State students need to know.

1. Police Are Under Financial Pressure To Enforce Underage Drinking Laws

As in many college towns, the demographics of State College skew young. Seven residents out of every 10 are between 15 and 24 years old. And although the legal drinking age is not until 21, about two-thirds of the crime is related in some way to alcohol.

In practice, this means that State College spends a lot of money on policing alcohol-related offenses by young people. This is why, if you have been charged with an alcohol-related offense in State College, you have to take it seriously. The fine you might have to pay is part of the business model for the authorities in funding law enforcement.

2. There Are Numerous Offenses Associated With Drinking Before Age 21

Pennsylvania statutes contain numerous offenses relating to obtaining or consuming alcohol before the age of 21. Some of these are vehicle-related, such as the absolute prohibition of driving by a minor with alcohol in his or her system.

But there are also many offenses related to underage drinking that have nothing to do with vehicles. For example, it is an offense to misrepresent your age in order to obtain alcoholic beverages. It is also an offense to manufacture or sell a false ID card that could be used to try to buy alcohol.

3. Getting An Offense Removed From Your Record Is Sometimes Possible

An offense committed when you're young can haunt you for years. In the short term, it can cost you financial aid. In the longer term, it may show up in background checks for future employment, harming your job prospects.

Pennsylvania law does allow for a procedure called expungement to have certain offenses removed from your record. But the procedure for seeking this is complicated, and it is best to proceed with help from an experienced attorney.

Take Action To Protect Your Rights

To arrange a confidential consultation with an experienced lawyer, give us a call at our office in State College at 814-470-8023 or complete the online form. We are available 24/7.