Underage Drinking Attorney for UPenn Students
Underage drinking is an issue that is prevalent at many college campuses across the United States. Despite the commonality of this offense, it is still a crime that can negatively impact your academic career of a person if they fail to consume alcohol responsibly. If you or a family member was arrested or cited for underage drinking at the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn), contact an experienced Philadelphia underage drinking defense attorney for UPenn students today.
The Law Offices of Lloyd Long understand the stress associated with being charged with a crime, and we are here to help you through this complex process. Our firm avoids taking on a large volume of clients in favor of providing every client with our full resources for their criminal case. To schedule a free legal consultation to discuss your case, contact the Law Offices of Lloyd Long at (215) 302-0171 or contact us online.
Pennsylvania Underage Drinking Laws
Underage drinking is an offense that applies to individuals that are under the age of 21. A UPenn student can be arrested for underage drinking if they purchase, attempt to purchase, or consume a beverage that contains alcohol or that is considered a malt or brewed beverage.
Consuming or purchasing alcohol is not the only way that a person can be arrested for underage drinking. If a defendant possessed or was engaged in the transportation of alcoholic beverages, they can also be charged with underage drinking.
It is important to note that if a minor is driving a vehicle while intoxicated or with an open bottle of alcohol in the vehicle, this can lead to the more serious offense of driving under the influence (DUI). To be arrested for DUI, all it takes is for an underage driver to have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.02 or higher. This is a much lower threshold than the 0.08 required for adult drivers.
In some cases, it may even be possible to be arrested for DUI if the driver is not over the legal BAC limit. If law enforcement observes a person that is driving erratically and discovers that they have consumed even the smallest amount of alcohol, they can still be charged with a DUI.
Additionally, having constructive possession of a vehicle while intoxicated is also enough to be arrested for DUI. For example, if an underage driver falls asleep in the driver’s seat of a vehicle with their keys in hand, this is considered constructive possession because the driver can drive off at any point.
Individuals that are arrested for underage drinking should also be aware that certain defenses are not applicable to this offense. For example, if a defendant consumes alcohol in a jurisdiction that was different from where they were cited for underage drinking, this cannot be used as a defense to avoid criminal liability.
To learn more about the penalties for underage drinking, continue reading and speak with an experienced Philadelphia underage DUI lawyer today.
Penalties for Underage Drinking for College Students
There are various penalties that can be imposed if a UPenn student is convicted of underage drinking. In Pennsylvania, underage drinking is typically charged as a summary offense. A summary offense is the least severe type of offense that a person could be charged with. In Pennsylvania, summary offenses carry a maximum sentence of 90 days in jail and a $300 criminal fine. Subsequent offenses for underage drinking can result in increased fines of up to $1,000.
A defendant may also be offered the opportunity to take part in public service programs instead of being charged with underage drinking. For example, Pennsylvania offers the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition Program (ARD) is designed for first-time DUI offenders to avoid guilty plea for DUI.
The ARD program will require a defendant to meet a number of conditions to avoid criminal penalties for a DUI. Failure to complete this program could result in criminal charges being reinstated. It is important to note that repeat offenders may not be eligible to take part in the ARD program or other similar programs.
If you are concerned about disciplinary proceedings from the University of Pennsylvania due to an underage drinking offense, you should contact our law offices today. Our firm can evaluate your options for handling a disciplinary hearing instituted by your university.
Call Our Experienced Philadelphia Underage Drinking Defense Lawyer for UPenn Students
If you were are a student at the University of Pennsylvania and you were arrested for drinking under the legal age of 21, contact an experienced Philadelphia underage drinking defense lawyer for UPenn students today. The Law Offices of Lloyd Long understand the widespread effects even a minor offense like underage drinking can have, and we are here for you in your time of need. To schedule a free case evaluation, contact the Law Offices of Lloyd Long at (215) 302-0171.