Possession of Alcohol By a Minor Laws and Penalties

In 2014, a national survey showed that almost 18% of Connecticut’s 12-17 year olds consumed alcohol during the previous month. This was the highest rate in the entire country, according to this national survey. If you have teenagers, or children who are coming up on their teenage years, make sure you and your children understand these laws and penalties for purchasing and possessing alcohol, as well as using fake IDs to purchase alcohol.

Purchasing and Possessing Alcohol Under Age 21

In Connecticut, it is a violation for a minor or anyone under 21 to purchase alcohol, even when not carded by the seller in the store. The fine for purchasing or attempting to purchase alcohol as a minor is a fine between $200 and $500. Further, a minor who purchases or attempts to purchase alcohol by making a false statement may be fined between $200 and $500.

It is also a violation for any minor to possess alcohol in public, on a public street or highway, in a private location, or in a motor vehicle. The penalty for possessing alcohol on a public street or highway may be a 60-day license suspension, or a 150-day wait to be eligible for a license, if not licensed. The penalty for possession of alcohol on a private location is a 30-day license suspension, or a 150-day wait to be eligible for a license, if not licensed. The penalty for possession of alcohol in a motor vehicle is a 60-day license suspension.

Operating a Motor Vehicle and Drinking Alcohol

Lastly, there is zero tolerance for minors who operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content over .02. For a first offense, there is a fine between $500 and $1,000, one year license suspension, and either up to six months in jail or 100 hours of community service. For a second offense, the penalty is a fine between $1,000 and $4,000 and up to two years in jail in which 120 consecutive days cannot be suspended or reduced, and one year license suspension with two years of using an ignition interlock device. For a third offense, there is a penalty of a fine between $2,000 and $8,000, up to three years in jail, probation with 100 hours of community service, and permanent license revocation.

If any of these violations are committed by minors who are 16 or younger, the violation will be considered a delinquent act, and will be handled in the Superior Court for Juvenile Matters.

If your child received one of these violations, contact our office at 203-567-6474 to get guidance and answers to questions that you may have.

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