• Raleigh Underage Drinking Charges | Explanation of This Common Charge
  • September 17, 2012
  • Law Firm: Matheson Law Office PLLC - Raleigh Office
  • For those young people who participate in underage drinking, they run the risk of running afoul of some variation of the North Carolina Underage Drinking law. As a Raleigh DWI Lawyer and Raleigh Criminal Lawyer, I have experience with these types of charges. Additionally, I try to dedicate a good portion of my work to assisting young people who have are often times first-time offenders and need help avoiding a conviction. To that end, some of the more common charges that I have seen is Underage Consumption of Alcohol NC and Underage Possession of Alcohol NC. Though underage drinking is prevalent, and being in the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill area is very prevalent with all of the colleges and universities around here, it can sometimes appear as not a serious offense. The reality is, these charges are, in fact Misdemeanors, for which a conviction will follow a Defendant around for the rest of their life. This article is written with the intent to assist those who could potentially catch one of these charges to understand what exactly is at risk.

    First, the charges of Underage Possession or Consumption of Alcohol are level 3 Misdemeanors for those Defendants' who are 19 or 20. However, for those 18 years old or younger, the same charges are a Class 1 Misdemeanor. Additionally, the charge of Aiding or Abetting these charges are a Class 2 Misdemeanor.

    Secondly, there are secondary consequences from being convicted with these types of crimes other then having the conviction on your record. These charges will result in a 1-year suspension of the Defendant's drivers license should they be convicted.

    Lastly, should any of these individuals who are consuming alcohol underage decide to drive a vehicle, they run the risk of being charged with Driving After Consuming Under the Age of 21 N.C. This charge, commonly referred to as the 'Baby DWI' is a very serious charge. The sentencing for this charge is very similar to that of a regular DWI. Additionally, ANY amount of alcohol in the system of a Driver under the age of 21 can result in a conviction, where a regular DWI requires proof of .08 or above or a showing of Appreciable Impairment.

    For these reasons, all young people should think about the risks next time they think about participating in libations before the age of 21. If you have caught a North Carolina Drinking Charge, or any other crime in N.C., speak with a local criminal attorney about your case. If these charges were received in the Research Triangle Area of North Carolina, contact Raleigh Criminal Defense Law Firm Matheson Law Office for assistance with your case.

    Disclaimer - Information and advice offered in this article is for informational and educational purposes only and is specific to North Carolina law. The viewing, receipt and/or exchange of information from this article does not constitute an Attorney-Client Relationship. For assistance regarding your particular legal question speak with an Attorney practicing in the field from which your questions derives.