Indianapolis Minor in Possession of Alcohol Lawyer
Indiana, like all other states in the country, has a vested interest in regulating the consumption of alcohol by minors. According to federal studies conducted in 2011, 18% of high school students stated that they drank alcohol for the first time before they were 13 years old. 33% of high school students indicated they had one drink of alcohol on at least one day during the 30 days before the survey, and 20% of high school students had five or more alcoholic drinks in a row within a couple of hours on at least one day. Therefore, the Indiana legislature has enacted a slew of alcohol-related criminal statutes for minors. Chris Eskew, founder of Eskew Law, LLC, is an Indianapolis minor in possession of alcohol attorney with years of experience in defending minors against alcohol-related charges in the Indianapolis and Central Indiana areas.
Indiana, by Ind. Code § 7.1-5-7-7, prohibits minors – individuals under 21 years of age – from knowingly:
- Possessing an alcoholic beverage;
- Consuming an alcoholic beverage; or
- Transporting an alcoholic beverage on a public highway when not accompanied by at least one of his or her parents or guardians.
If convicted, the offense of a minor in possession of alcohol is a Class C misdemeanor and may be punishable by a prison term of no more than 60 days and a fine not exceeding $500, in accordance with Ind. Code § 30-50-3-4.
Additionally, if a minor possesses or consumes an alcoholic beverage while driving a vehicle, otherwise known as underage DUI, the court may suspend his or her driving privileges for up to one year. If the minor is less than 1 years old, the court shall suspend his or her driving privileges for at least 60 days. To learn more about what constitutes possession, speak with Indianapolis criminal defense lawyer who is well-versed in minor in possession charges.
Often, a charge against a minor for possessing alcohol comes with other alcohol-related offenses. One of these offenses is using a fake identification card. When a minor uses fake ID, it constitutes a violation of two different provisions of Indiana statutes. The first is making false statements of age. Under Ind. Code § 7.1-5-7-1, minors are prohibited from knowingly or intentionally making a false statement regarding his or her age or to present false or fraudulent evidence of legal age or identity to someone selling or providing alcohol for the purpose of ordering, purchasing, attempting to purchase, or otherwise getting or attempting to get an alcoholic beverage.
The second offense is possession of false identity. Under Ind. Code § 7.1-5-7-3, a minor who possesses false or fraudulent evidence of legal age or identity with the intent to commit an alcohol-related offense is guilty of a Class C misdemeanor.
Presence in Taverns
Another offense that often accompanies the charge of a minor’s possession of alcohol is a minor’s presence in a tavern. Under Ind. Code § 7.1-5-7-10, a minor is prohibited from knowingly or intentionally being present in a tavern, bar, or other public place where alcoholic beverages are sold, exchanged, given away, provided, or furnished. However, under Ind. Code § 7.1-5-7-11, several places are exempt from this prohibition and allow minors to be present in. The exemptions include, but are not limited to:
- Civic centers
- Civic centers, convention centers, sports arenas, and bowling alleys;
- Drug and grocery stores;
- Dining, pullman, and club cars in trains;
- Passenger airplanes;
- Horse racetrack facilities with the appropriate permit;
- Catering halls that are not open to the public;
- Portions of restaurants separate from the room where the bar is located;
- Entertainment complexes, indoor golf facilities, car racetracks, and indoor theaters;
- Senior residence halls where alcoholic beverages are provided or furnished; and
- Another part of a hotel other than where the bar is located.
For additional information regarding Indiana exemptions, you may wish to speak with an Indianapolis minor in possession of alcohol lawyer.
Skilled Defense for Minors Charged with Possession of Alcohol
Eskew Law, LLC can provide you with an experienced Indianapolis minor in possession of alcohol attorney if you or a loved one is a minor facing a charge of an alcohol-related offense in the Indianapolis or Central Indiana areas. We will review your case and help you determine the best way to move forward. You may contact us by calling (317) 974-0177 or by submitting our online consultation request form.
Our criminal defense team also handles other types of cases, including: