If you are caught selling alcohol to minors, you’re in big trouble. You’ll need a Youngstown OVI lawyer to help you out.
Ohio considers selling alcohol to minors to be one of the most serious of DUI-related offenses. It’s also one of the most common, with citations for the offense being issued every single day. The legal drinking age in the state is 21. Selling or providing alcohol to a person younger than that age is illegal. The law includes beer, wine, and any other liquor that causes intoxication in its definition of alcohol.
The definition of selling alcohol to minors can be found in the Ohio Revised Code in Chapter 4301.69. This definition includes exceptions to the rule, as well.
- If you buy alcohol for a minor, give it to them, or sell it to them, you have committed a crime. There are three exceptions to this rule:
- You are the legal guardian, spouse who is not underage, or parent of the minor.
- You are a medical doctor and the alcohol was provided for medical reasons.
- It is to be used for religious purposes.
- If you allow a person who is underage to drink alcohol on your property, you have committed a crime. The exception to this is if you are the minor’s spouse who is not underage, the minor’s parent, or the minor’s legal guardian.
- You have committed a crime if you use or make reservations at a restaurant, hotel, cabin, or campground and you know one of the following is going to happen:
- Drugs will be used at that restaurant, cabin, hotel, or campground. The exception to this is drugs in original containers that were prescribed by a doctor or other licensed health professional. The law specifically indicates drugs of abuse in this paragraph.
- Minors intend to drink alcohol at the cabin, campground, restaurant, or hotel. The exception to this is in cases where the drinks are provided by a legal guardian, parent, or spouse who is of legal age.
- If you allow an underage person to make their own reservations at a campground or hotel if you think or know for a fact a minor is drunk or has alcohol in their possession without being under the supervision of a parent, spouse who is of legal age, or legal guardian, you have committed a crime. Likewise, if you let someone else make those reservations with that knowledge or suspicion, you have committed a crime.
- If you allow any of the above things to happen to an underage person, regardless of your status as legal guardian, parent, or spouse who is of legal age, you have committed a crime.
A conviction for this offense is considered to be a misdemeanor of the first degree. The sentence is pretty harsh … $1,000 worth of fines and a jail sentence of up to six months.
As with all alcohol-related crimes, a conviction for this one can cause many non-criminal consequences. Keeping custody of your children is a big one. No judge is going to want to let you have them if you’re in the habit of letting them (or other minors) get drunk. Your family and friends may distance themselves from you and take away their support of you. You might lose your job and have a hard time getting another one. And, if you hold a license to sell liquor, that license could be suspended or revoked.
Providing alcohol to minors is not an insignificant charge, and is not one you should try to handle on your own. The consequences are too severe to risk losing your case. A Youngstown OVI lawyer like Sean Logue at Logue Law Group will be able to use the facts of your case to your best advantage. With years of experience handling hundreds of similar cases, Sean Logue knows how to get the best outcomes possible for his clients. Call him now at (412) 612-2210.