Underage Drinking Regulations and Sanctions in Arizona

Underage drinking remains a serious problem throughout the US and Arizona is no exception. The state has quite strict underage drinking regulations pertaining to the possession and consumption of alcohol. The repercussions are also severe for underage drivers who have committed a DUI.

Drinking and Alcohol Possession by Minors: An Overview

underage drinking regulationsPeople under the age of 21 can attend bars and other venues that serve alcoholic beverages if they’re accompanied by a parent or a guardian. These minors, however, aren’t allowed to legally consume alcohol until they turn 21.

Minors aren’t allowed to consume alcoholic beverages in public either.

An individual under the age of 21 can be charged and punished in a couple of instance pertaining to the acquisition of alcohol and its consumption:

  • People who use fake IDs to get alcohol will be charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor. The penalty is up to six months in jail and a fine of up to 2,500 dollars.
  • Individuals under the age of 21 who ask an adult to acquire alcohol for them will be charged with a Class 3 misdemeanor. The penalty in this instance is up to 30 days in jail and a fine of up to 500 dollars.
  • People under the age of 21 who use fake IDs to enter bar and other establishment that serve alcohol will be charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Underage Drivers and DUIs

Under Arizona law, there’s zero tolerance for driving after the consumption of drugs or alcohol. This means that every driver, including underage vehicle operators, should have blood alcohol content of 0.00 percent.

The penalties for underage individuals who have consumed alcohol before getting in a car to drive are strict. The severity of the punishment will depend on the specifics of the offense.

Underage drivers who commit a DUI for the first time will be imprisoned for anywhere between 24 hours and 10 days. There will also be a fine, as well as license suspension for a period ranging from 90 to 360 days.

Second-time offenders will go to jail for anywhere between 30 and 90 days. A fine of up to 2,500 dollars will apply. Such underage drivers will also be subjected to license suspension for a period of one year.

A third-time offense will result in much more serious consequences for the perpetrator. The driver will have to serve at least four months in prison and the fine will be up to 4,000 dollars. There will also be a 24-month ignition interlock device requirement.

An ignition interlock device (IID) is quite similar to a breathalyzer. The device is usually installed inside the vehicle. Prior to starting the vehicle, the driver will have to breathe into the device. If alcohol is detected, the car’s engine is not going to start.

A Few Other Considerations

First-time underage offenders may benefit from some court leniency, especially if they haven’t committed a serious violation related to the use or the possession of alcohol. In many instances, the penalty is going to be one of the following – one year probation, community service and participating in an educational program about alcohol.

Deferred prosecution is another possibility that an attorney may pursue. In this instance, a judgment will not be entered and the offender will be required to meet with a probation officer in a six-month period.

Whenever underage offenders manage to maintain a clear record without additional offenses, charges will be dropped.

Things are a bit different whenever minors commit DUIs. Underage drunk drivers could face additional charges on top of the ones already mentioned. These may include a charge for minor in possession, soliciting alcohol, possession of a false ID, child endangerment law violations and vehicle maintenance violations.

People who are charged with DUI under underage drinking regulations, may also have their car insurance terminated. The monthly premium could also be expected to increase as a consequence of the violation. Always consult experienced Phoenix DUI lawyers.