A minor in possession of alcohol risks severe penalties under South Carolina laws. Despite this fact, many teenagers in Clemson decide to take their chances. When caught, their best chance to avoid a criminal record is to contact a Clemson DUI lawyer.
Minors in possession of alcohol are not the only ones risking fines and jail time. The adults who furnished the alcohol risk severe penalties as well. SC Chapter 63, Title 9, sections 63-19-2440, 63-19-2450, and 63-19-2460 refer to minors possessing alcohol. They establish the penalties, as well as the situations when minors can possess alcohol legally.
Situations When a Clemson Minor in Possession of Alcohol Is Not in Violation of SC Laws
Here are the instances when minors can legally possess or taste alcohol:
1. When Serving or Clearing Alcohol Beverages Is Part of Their Job Description
South Carolina laws allow minors 18 years old and older to serve and clear alcoholic beverages. They can do so as employees in establishments holding a license to sell alcohol. The alcohol they serve should be in a closed container. The law does not allow them to mix drinks and work as bartenders.
2. When Tasting Alcohol for Educational Purposes
Minors attending accredited culinary courses may taste alcohol under the instructors’ supervision. The instructor should be in control of the alcohol at all times. Also, the program’s curriculum should require alcohol tasting.
3. Compliance Verifications
Minors may receive alcohol when the authorities recruit them to verify compliance with the law. The police officers may ask minors to try and purchase alcohol from certain establishments. The purpose is to check whether those locations or their owners obey the law. The authorization of the authorities only justifies possession, not consumption.
4. Religious Ceremonies
A Clemens minor consuming alcohol during a religious ceremony does not violate the law. Neither does the adult who furnished the alcohol. However, they may have to prove that they purchased the alcohol legally.
5. Furnishing Alcohol to Minor Spouses or Children in the Adult Home
This exception applies to two situations: minor spouses, and minor children. In a couple consisting of an adult and a minor, the adult may furnish alcohol to the minor spouse. This can only happen in the couple’s home. Similarly, parents or guardians may allow their children or wards to consume alcohol in the adults’ home.
Any minor in possession of alcohol in other situations should consult a Clemens DUI attorney. So should the adult who furnished the alcohol. DUI-related offenses are serious and bring about considerable penalties.
Penalties a Minor in Possession of Alcohol Risks without the Help of a Clemson, SC, DUI Lawyer
Here is a brief overview of the penalties minors and the adults facilitating their law violations risk:
- Illegal purchase, possession, or consumption of alcohol. The fine this type of violation goes from $100 to $200. The minor may also spend up to 30 days in prison. They will also have to complete a minimum 8-hour long alcohol-related education program. These programs come with tuition costs of up to $150.
- Age misrepresentation. The fine for minors who lie about being older to purchase or consume alcohol goes from $100 to $200. Again, the minor risks spending up to 30 days in prison.
- Furnishing alcohol to minors. South Carolina laws prohibit adults to furnish, sell, or allow the selling of alcohol to minors. Those who do it will be charged with a misdemeanor. Fines range from $200 to $300 for first offenses. Repeat offenders will pay from $400 to $500. They, too, risk spending up to 30 days in prison. These stipulations are subject to South Carolina Code Section 61-6-4070.
Police officers suspecting that a minor consumed alcohol can request a screening test. The screening test has to comply with the approval of the State Law Enforcement Division. It is important to note that the police officers will need probable cause.
A DUI lawyer may be able to prove lack of probable cause and have charges dismissed. Another solution is to prove that the minor possessed or consumed alcohol in one of the instances discussed above.
Consult a Clemson DUI Attorney Now!
Whether you’re the minor in possession of alcohol or the adult accused of furnishing it, we can help. At The Bateman Firm, we have been handling cases like yours for years. We can help you avoid the fine, the prison sentence, and the stain on your record. Call us at 864-406-6036 and schedule a consultation. Our DUI lawyer will answer all your questions and guide you towards a favorable verdict!