Underage Drinking

www.ZeroAttempts.org

Alcohol and Minors

Underage Drinking Starts With An Excuse
Wasted - A video aimed at curbing underage drinking and driving
Keeping alcohol out of the hands of minors
What you can do
Oregon's Alcohol Laws and Minors
Anti-Furnishing Campaign Targets Parents
Alcohol Energy Drinks
Prom and Graduation Tips for Parents Keeping teens alcohol-free this Prom and Graduation Season
Related Links

45 States That Allow Underage (under 21) Alcohol Consumption
Should the Drinking Age Be Lowered from 21 to a Younger Age?

Underage Drinking Starts With An Excuse


The Oregon Liquor Control Commission and Pernod Ricard, USA have launched a Public Service Announcement campaign to remind parents how dangerous underage drinking can be.

Prom and graduation are two of the biggest memory-making events in a teenager’s life. Many parents get involved by helping pick out special clothes or extending curfew for the night. One area where parents can make the greatest impact is setting firm expectations against underage drinking.

The campaign, “Underage Drinking doesn’t start with a drink. It starts with an excuse,” focuses on things some parents may say to justify their teens’ drinking behavior.

Sixteen-year-old Lexi Spencer knew not to drive, but made the mistake of riding in a car with someone who was too intoxicated to be driving.

This video is a testimonial by the people whose lives were profoundly affected by her death and the circumstances surrounding the incident.

Along with Lexi's mother, it is the teens who speak out, who struggle with the hard-learned lessons of underage drinking. All of their lives have been forever changed by the loss of their classmate and friend.

:30
Buzzed driving is Druck Driving

Keeping alcohol out of the hands of minors

Keeping alcohol out of the hands of minors is a priority for the OLCC. Here are some of the ways that we work to reduce minors' access to alcohol.

Working with grocery stores

When we receive a complaint about a store selling to minors, we contact the owner or manager, discuss the complaint with them, educate them about relevant laws and rules. Some local law enforcement agencies and OLCC conduct checks for sales to minors. This program reduces the illegal sale of alcohol to minors and raises the public awareness level.

Preventing alcohol furnishing

Furnishing is when anyone gives/sells/makes available alcohol to a minor. This can be through a shoulder-tap, or the furnisher may be a friend, relative, or some other adult through whom the minor can obtain alcohol. (Editor's note: Parents can legally introduce their underage chidren to alcohol. Research is clear the damage the introduction of alcohol does to the brain before 25. This has got to stop.)

OLCC works hard with grocery store owners to prevent furnishing. We help licensees spot furnishers, and prevent those sales. Furnishing alcohol to a minor is illegal, whether the furnisher is a sibling or a stranger. Penalties for furnishing alcohol to a minor are: first conviction: $350 fine. Second conviction, $1000 fine. Third or subsequent conviction: a fine of $1000 and not less than 30 days of imprisonment (ORS 471.410).

Reduce the use of fake ID

Kids use a variety of methods to obtain false identification which shows them to be older than 21. ORS 165.805 makes it a Class C misdemeanor for anyone to misrepresent their age. Upon conviction, driving privileges will be suspended for up to one year (hardship provisions for driving to and from work are possible).

Some common methods minors use to obtain/falsify identification:

  • alter their own valid ID by cutting/switching numbers to show an earlier date of birth
  • borrow identification of an adult (older sibling, relative) and pretend to be that person
  • use computer desk-top programs to create valid-appearing ID
  • use an older sibling or relative's birth certificate, take to DMV and get a new license with the minor's photo, but sibling's name and other info
  • purchase ID from magazine or other source (Editor's note: Watch for a mailing coming from China.)

What you can do

Call us if you think a store is selling to minors. The more information you have, the more effective we can be in stopping it.

Get as much information as you can when you see or suspect someone has furnished alcohol to a minor, whether the furnishing was at a party or at a licensed business. The old "who, what, when, where, why, and how" questions are your best process to follow.

Give us the information as soon as possible. Our Portland metro (Multnomah, Clackamas and Washington counties) number is: 503-872-5070. Call toll free from anywhere in the state: 800-452-6522. Wednesday and Thursday we have a dispatcher or staff available until 12:00 am, Tuesdays until 7:30 pm and Friday and Saturday until 2:00 am. You can also contact your local police department.

Oregon's Alcohol Laws and Minors

Download the Fact Sheet: Oregon's Alcohol Laws and Minors (2 page pdf)

Oregon law prohibits anyone, except a parent or legal guardian, from providing alcohol to a minor or juvenile. A minor is any person under the age of 21 and a juvenile is any person under the age of 18. Parents or guardians may legally provide alcohol to their minor child or ward and only in a private residence when accompanying their minor child. A parent cannot transfer this responsibility to another adult or provide alcohol in a public place. If you allow your property and/or home to be used for a party where minors, other than your minor child(ren), consume alcohol in your presence, you may have to forfeit property and may be issued a criminal citation.

ORS 165.805 Misrepresentation of age by a minor

When minors misrepresent their age, purposely are not truthful about their age to purchase alcohol, enter a lounge or evade detection by law enforcement, they are referred to juvenile court or receive a criminal citation, depending on their age. The minor may be fined. If DMV identification is used in misrepresentation, the minor’s driving privileges may be suspended for up to one year and/or the minor will have to wait for up to one year to apply for a driver’s license. (Class C Misdemeanor)

ORS 471.430 Minor in possession of alcohol

When minors are in possession of alcohol, they are either holding the alcohol, have consumed the alcohol, or attempted to purchase the alcohol. They will be referred to juvenile court or receive a criminal citation. The minor will be fined and/or required to perform community service. Minors/juveniles may be sent to alcohol assessment and treatment. Minors may consume sacramental wine as part of a religious service. (Criminal Violation)

ORS 471.610 Confiscation of liquor and property

When any officer arrests a person for violating a liquor law (e.g.; selling alcohol without a license) the officer may take into possession all alcoholic beverages and other property used in violation of the law. Other property that can be confiscated include: bars, glasses, chairs, tables, music devices, furniture, and equipment. This property is forfeited to the state of Oregon if the person is convicted.

ORS 471.620 Property or places subject to confiscation

Any room, house, building, boat, structure or place of any kind where alcohol beverages are sold or given away in violation of the law is a public nuisance. Anyone who maintains or assists in maintaining such a place, or permits it in a place they own, manage or lease, violates the Liquor Control Act.

ORS 471.410(2) Furnishing alcohol to a minor

No person shall sell, give or make alcohol available to a minor. A parent or legal guardian may provide alcohol to their minor child in a private residence as long as the parent is with the minor child. If you illegally provide alcohol to a minor, or provide alcohol to an adult that you know will make it available to a minor, you will receive a criminal citation. (Class A Misdemeanor)

ORS 471.410(3) Controlling an area where minors are permitted to consume alcohol

It is illegal for someone exercising control over private real property to allow any person under 21 to consume alcohol on the property in your presence. It is also illegal to allow any person under age 21 to remain on the property if they have consumed alcohol. Private real property may include a hotel room, camp site, or any rented/leased location. The only exception is for your own minor child(ren). If you control an area where minors consume alcohol, you will receive a criminal citation. (Criminal Violation)

ORS 471.565 Licensee, permittee and social host liability

As a licensee, permittee or social host, if you serve visibly intoxicated persons or guests, you may be held liable for damages caused by the persons or guests away from your home or licensed premises.

ORS 471.567 Liability for serving minors; liability of a minor for misrepresentation of age

As a licensee, permittee or social host, you may be liable for injuries caused by a minor who obtained alcohol from you when you did not properly check for identification. Minors who misrepresent their age and cause a licensee to be fined or have their liquor license suspended or revoked can be held liable for damages sustained by the licensee.

Anti-Furnishing Campaign Targets Parents

The OLCC and Oregon Partnership have teamed up in an effort to reduce underage drinking by targeting parents. Because most kids get their alcohol from home, the campaign is designed to educate parents when they purchase alcohol.

The campaign, which includes materials such as posters and bottle hangers, describes how kids frequently take alcohol from home supplies.

Go to the Campaign!
PSA 1 (
mp3 format)
PSA 2 (
mp3 format)

In the News

Stopping Underage Drinking KOHD News, Bend - 10/28/0

New campaign on teen drinking urges that moms and dads disapprove strongly The Daily Astorian - 9/9/2008

Parents Warned on Kids Drinking The Portland Observer - 9/3/2008

Alcohol Energy Drinks

(Nov. 22, 2010) Official Notification to Businesses

Effective Dec. 3, 2010, the OLCC has approved a rule change that allows wholesalers/distributors to exchange the seven banned alcoholic energy drinks containing caffeine for other malt beverage products of equivalent value.

The seven products affected by the ban include Core High Gravity HG Green, Core High Gravity HG Orange, Lemon Lime Core Spiked, Moonshot, Four Loko, Joose, and Max.

It is up to the wholesalers/distributors and the retailers to make arrangements for exchanges of these seven products.

If you have any questions regarding this matter, please contact Jesse Sweet, Wholesale and Manufacturing Specialist at 503-872-5250 or jesse.sweet@state.or.us Download this notice (pdf)

(2007) Parents warned of look-alike alcohol energy drinks
Effective Dec. 3, 2010, the OLCC has approved a rule change that allows wholesalers/distributors to exchange the seven banned alcoholic energy drinks containing caffeine for other malt beverage products of equivalent value.

The seven products affected by the ban include Core High Gravity HG Green, Core High Gravity HG Orange, Lemon Lime Core Spiked, Moonshot, Four Loko, Joose, and Max.

It is up to the wholesalers/distributors and the retailers to make arrangements for exchanges of these seven products.

If you have any questions regarding this matter, please contact Jesse Sweet, Wholesale and Manufacturing Specialist at 503-872-5250 or jesse.sweet@state.or.us Download this notice (1 sage pdf)

Related Links

1:20
Dirve like you give a #&%!

We Don't Serve Teens

What you need to know about underage drinking
What can happen to teens who drink
Learn about the laws in your state
Oregon

Steps you can take to reduce teen access to alcohol
Answering Questions About Underage Drinking
Media literacy tools and alcohol ad regulation

Source: www.oregon.gov/olcc/pages/alcohol_and_minors.aspx

45 States That Allow Underage (under 21) Alcohol Consumption


45 states have exceptions to allow underage consumption of alcohol under certain circumstances. Five states (Alabama, Arkansas, Idaho, New Hampshire, and West Virginia) have no such exceptions.

[Editor's Note: The information below is not in any way intended to be legal advice or to encourage alcohol consumption by people under the age of 21. The laws presented include only state laws regarding underage consumption of alcohol. We have excluded county and city ordinances that may further restrict underage drinking as well as laws against people furnishing alcohol to underage people. While reasonable efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy of the data provided, do not rely on this information without first checking current applicable law.]

I. Eight Exceptions to the Minimum Legal Drinking Age (MLDA) of 21

II. State-by-State Guide to Underage Alcohol Consumption Laws and Exceptions

III. Explanation of the Eight Exceptions to the MLDA

I. Eight Exceptions to the Minimum Legal Drinking Age (MLDA) of 21

Underage alcohol consumption allowed
States

1. on private, non alcohol-selling premises, with parental consent in 29 states

Example: private home, private office, or private property with parental presence and consent Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming

2. on private, non alcohol-selling premises, without parental consent in 6 states

Example: private home, private office, or private property without parental consent or presence Louisiana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, Oklahoma, South Carolina

3. for religious purposes in 26 states

Example: drinking wine during a church ceremony Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Washington, Wyoming

4. for medical purposes in 16 states

Example: medical treatment prescribed or administered by a licensed physician Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Iowa, Louisiana, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Utah, Washington, Wyoming

5. for government work related purposes in 5 statesExample: working undercover with police and participating in government research

Kansas, Michigan, Mississippi, Oregon, South Carolina

6. for educational purposes in 11 states

Example: students in culinary school Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Vermont

7. when reporting medical need due to underage drinking for another minor in 17 states and DC

Example: underage drinker calls 911 to report medical emergency for another underage drinker California, Colorado, Delaware, District of Columbia, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington

8. on alcohol-selling premises, with parental approval in 8 states

Example: restaurant, bar, or a venue where alcohol is sold Connecticut, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, Ohio, Texas, Wisconsin, Wyoming

Source:drinkingage.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=002591#chart1

State-by-State Guide to Underage Alcohol Consumption Laws and Exceptions
State
Underage Consumption of Alcohol Is Allowed
Notes and Link to Law

Alabama

  • Underage consumption of alcohol is prohibited with no exceptions

Section 28-1-5

Alaska

  • on private non alcohol-selling premises, with parental consent

AS 04.16.050; AS 04.16.151

Arizona

  • for religious purposes
    for medical purposes

4-226; 4-244; 4-249

Arkansas

  • Underage consumption of alcohol is prohibited with no exceptions.

Although underage consumption of alcohol is not explicitly prohibited in the law, underage possession of alcohol is prohibited without exceptions. According to the Alcohol Policy Information System (APIS), "Possession and consumption are closely linked because consumption generally requires possession."

Source: Alcohol Policy Information System (APIS) website (accessed May 21, 2010)3-3-203

California

  • when reporting medical need due to underage drinking for another minor

Applies to an underage person reporting a medical need due to alcohol consumption for either himself or herself, or another person. On May 23, 2012, ProCon.org received an email from John Carr, Public Information Officer at California ABC (Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control), confirming that possession and consumption of alcoholic beverages by minors is illegal in California: "Current Law states that a person must be 21 years of age to consume or purchase alcohol, it is illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to drink or purchase alcohol. Section 25658 of the California Business and Professions Code states: (a) Except as otherwise provided in subdivision (c), every person who sells, furnishes, gives, or causes to be sold, furnished, or given away any alcoholic beverage to any person under 21 years of age is guilty of a misdemeanor. (b) Except as provided in Section 25667, any person under 21 years of age who purchases any alcoholic beverage, or any person under 21 years of age who consumes any alcoholic beverage in any on-sale premises, is guilty of a misdemeanor." 11999-11999.3; 25657-25667

Colorado

  • on private non alcohol-selling premises, with parental consent
  • for religious purposes
  • for medical purposes
  • for educational purposes
  • when reporting medical need due to underage drinking for another minor

Owner of property must be aware of the underage drinking.

The law permits a student who "tastes but does not imbibe an alcohol beverage only while under the direct supervision of an instructor who is at least twenty-one years of age and employed by a post-secondary school; Is enrolled in a university or a post-secondary school accredited or certified by an agency recognized by the United States department of education, a nationally recognized accrediting agency or association, or the 'Private Occupational Education Act of 1981', article 59 of title 12, C.R.S.; Is participating in a culinary arts, food service, or restaurant management degree program; and tastes but does not imbibe the alcohol beverage for instructional purposes as a part of a required course in which the alcohol beverage, except the portion the student tastes, remains under the control of the instructor."

18-13-122

Connecticut

  • on private non alcohol-selling premises, with parental consent
  • for religious purposes
  • for medical purposes
  • on alcohol-selling premises with parental consent

Although underage consumption of alcohol is not explicitly prohibited in the law, underage possession of alcohol is prohibited. According to the Alcohol Policy Information System (APIS), "Possession and consumption are closely linked because consumption generally requires possession." Source: Alcohol Policy Information System (APIS) website (accessed May 21, 2010) A minor may possess alcohol only "while accompanied by a parent, guardian or spouse of the minor, who has attained the age of twenty-one." Sec. 30-1; 30-89

Delaware

  • on private non alcohol-selling premises, with parental consent
  • for religious purposes
  • when reporting medical need due to underage drinking for another minor

"Delaware's exception includes 'members of the same family' and allows consumption if in 'private home of any of said members.'" Source: "State Profle of Underage Drinking Laws: Delaware," Alcohol Policy Information System (APIS) website (accessed May 21, 2010) Title 4 Chapter 9SB 116

District of Columbia

  • when reporting medical need due to underage drinking for another minor

DC Official Code § 7-401 Section 325-1002

Florida

  • for educational purposes

The law permits "the tasting of alcoholic beverages by a student who is at least 18 years of age" as part of a course at an accredited post-secondary educational institution, but the student may not "consume or imbibe" the alcohol. 562.111

Georgia

  • on private non alcohol-selling premises, with parental consent
  • for religious purposes
  • for medical purposes

Hawaii

  • for religious purposes

§ 281-101.5

Idaho

  • on private non alcohol-selling premises, with parental consent
  • for religious purposes
  • for educational purposes

23-949

Illinois

  • on private non alcohol-selling premises, with parental consent
  • for religious purposes
  • for educational purposes

The law permits a student 18 years of age or older who "tastes, but does not imbibe, alcoholic liquor for instructional purposes up to, but not exceeding, 6 times per class as a part of a required course in which the student temporarily possesses alcoholic liquor for tasting, not imbibing, purposes only in a class setting on the campus and, thereafter, the alcoholic liquor is possessed and remains under the control of the instructor." 235 ILCS 5/6-20

Indiana

  • •when reporting medical need due to underage drinking for another minor

IC 7.1-1-3-25; 7.1-5-7-7; 7.1-5-1-6.5

Iowa

  • on private non alcohol-selling premises, with parental consent
  • for medical purposes

123.3; 123.47

Kansas

  • on private non alcohol-selling premises, with parental consent
  • for gov't work related purposes

Kansas statute 41-727 states: "This section shall not apply to the possession and consumption of cereal malt beverage by a person under the legal age for consumption of cereal malt beverage when such possession and consumption is permitted and supervised, and such beverage is furnished, by the person's parent or legal guardian." Kansas statute 41-727a authorizes specific people to use minors to determine compliance with Kansas liquor laws.

41-727a41-2701

Kentucky

  • when reporting medical need due to underage drinking for another minor

244.085KRS Ch. 244 Sec. 1

Louisiana

  • on private non alcohol-selling premises, with parental consent
  • on private, non alcohol-selling premises, without parental consent
  • for religious purposes
  • for medical purposes
  • on alcohol-selling premises with parental consent

The law states that "public possession" of alcohol includes at a club, which is "de facto open to the public." Underage public possession and consumption of alcohol is not prohibited if the underage person is accompanied by a parent or guardian who is at least 21 years old. §93.10; 93.12

Maine

  • on private non alcohol-selling premises, with parental consent

§2051

Maryland

  • on private non alcohol-selling premises, with parental consent
  • for religious purposes

Underage possession and consumption of alcohol is allowed if "the individual possessing or consuming the alcoholic beverage and the adult who furnished the alcoholic beverage to the individual or allowed the individual to possess or consume the alcoholic beverage are members of the same immediate family." §10–114

Massachusetts

  • Massachusetts •on private non alcohol-selling premises, with parental consent

In a Mar. 24, 2017, phone call with ProCon.org, the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission confirmed that there is no exception for underage drinking on alcohol-selling premises, even with parental consent.

Although underage consumption of alcohol is not explicitly prohibited in the law, underage possession of alcohol is prohibited unless the underage person is accompanied by a parent or legal guardian or if the person is over the age of 18 and possesses alcohol in the course of employment. According to the Alcohol Policy Information System (APIS), "Possession and consumption are closely linked because consumption generally requires possession." Source: Alcohol Policy Information System (APIS) website (accessed May 21, 2010) Chapter 138: Section 34C

Michigan

  • for religious purposes
  • for gov't work related purposes
  • for educational purposes
  • when reporting medical need due to underage drinking for another minor

436.1703

Minnesota

  • on private non alcohol-selling premises, with parental consent
  • when reporting medical need due to underage drinking for another minor

Consumption is permitted only "in the household of the defendant's parent or guardian and with the consent of the parent or guardian." 340A.503Subdivision 8

Mississippi

  • on private non alcohol-selling premises, with parental consent
  • for gov't work related purposes
  • on alcohol-selling premises with parental consent

Underage people who are at least 18 years old are allowed to consume light wine or beer with the consent and presence of their parent or legal guardian. Underage people who are at least 18 and serving in the US armed services "may lawfully possess and consume light wine or beer on military property where the consumption of light wine or beer is allowed." § 67-1-81; 67-3-54; 67-3-70

Missouri

  • for educational purposes

The law permits a student 18 years of age or older who is enrolled in a culinary course at an accredited college or university "to taste, but not consume or imbibe, any beer, ale, porter, wine, or other similar malt or fermented beverage as part of the required curriculum." 311.325; 312.010; 312.407

Montana

  • on private non alcohol-selling premises, with parental consent
  • for religious purposes
  • for medical purposes

Applies only to alcoholic beverages "provided in a nonintoxicating quantity." 16-6-305; 45-5-624

Nebraska

  • on private non alcohol-selling premises, with parental consent
  • on private, non alcohol-selling premises, without parental consent
  • for religious purposes
  • for medical purposes

Underage consumption of alcohol must be in the underage person's permanant place of residence. 53-168.06; 53-180.02

Nevada

  • on private non alcohol-selling premises, with parental consent
  • on private, non alcohol-selling premises, without parental consent
  • for religious purposes
  • for medical purposes
  • on alcohol-selling premises with parental consent

NRS 202.020

New Hampshire

Underage consumption of alcohol is prohibited with no exceptions.

Anyone underage "who is intoxicated by consumption of an alcoholic beverage, shall be guilty of a violation..." Underage possession of alcohol is prohibited, except when the under age person is working as a server, host, bartender, etc. on licensed, alcohol-selling premises. 179:10; 179:23

New Jersey

  • on private non alcohol-selling premises, with parental consent
  • on private, non alcohol-selling premises, without parental consent
  • for religious purposes
  • for medical purposes
  • for educational purposes
  • when reporting medical need due to underage drinking for another minor

Underage consumption of alcohol is not prohibited in private places. 2C:33-15; 2C:33-16; 2C:33-17

New Mexico

  • on private non alcohol-selling premises, with parental consent
  • for religious purposes

60-7B-1

New York

  • on private non alcohol-selling premises, with parental consent
  • for educational purposes
  • when reporting medical need due to underage drinking for another minor

Article 5 § 65-c220-78

North Carolina

  • for religious purposes
  • for medical purposes
  • for educational purposes
  • when reporting medical need due to underage drinking for another minor

§ 18B-103; § 18B-302§ 90-96.2; § 18B-302.2

North Dakota

  • for religious purposes
  • when reporting medical need due to underage drinking for another minor

Chapter 5-01

Ohio

  • on private non alcohol-selling premises, with parental consent
  • for religious purposes
  • for medical purposes
  • on alcohol-selling premises with parental consent

4301.69

Oklahoma

  • on private non alcohol-selling premises, with parental consent
  • on private, non alcohol-selling premises, without parental consent
  • when reporting medical need due to underage drinking for another minor

Underage consumption of alcohol is not prohibited in private places. "Although Oklahoma law contains no prohibition against underage consumption of alcoholic beverages generally, the state does prohibit consumption of 'low-point beer' (defined as containing not more than 3.2 percent ABW) by persons under twenty-one unless under the direct supervision of a parent or guardian. This exception does not allow persons under twenty-one to consume such beverages on premises licensed to dispense low-point beer. Okla. Stat. tit. 37, § 246." Source: "State Profile of Underage Drinking Laws," Alcohol Policy Information System (APIS) website (accessed May 21, 2010) §21-1215; 37-163.2; 37-24637 O.S. 2011 Section 8

Oregon

  • on private non alcohol-selling premises, with parental consent
  • for religious purposes
  • for gov't work related purposes

Exception can also apply to work for a non-government employer "for the purpose of investigating possible violations by [other] employees... of laws prohibiting sales of alcoholic beverages to persons who are under the age of 21 years." 471.430

Pennsylvania

  • when reporting medical need due to underage drinking for another minor

18 Pa.C.S.A. § 6308

Rhode Island

  • for educational purposes

§ 3-8-10

South Carolina

  • on private non alcohol-selling premises, with parental consent
  • on private, non alcohol-selling premises, without parental consent
  • for religious purposes
  • for gov't work related purposes
  • for educational purposes

The law permits a student 18 years of age or older who is enrolled in an approved culinary course at an accredited college or university to "taste, but not consume or imbibe, any beer, ale, porter, wine, or other similar malt or fermented beverage as part of the required curriculum." "No provision of law prohibiting the use or possession of beer, wine, or alcoholic beverages by minors shall apply to any minor in the home of his parents or guardian or to any such beverage used for religious ceremonies or purposes so long as such beverage was legally purchased." Section 63-19-2440 – 63-19-2440

South Dakota

  • for religious purposes

35-9-2

Tennesee

  • for religious purposes

1-3-113

Texas

  • on private non alcohol-selling premises, with parental consent
  • when reporting medical need due to underage drinking for another minor
  • on alcohol-selling premises with parental consent

Underage consumption of alcohol is allowed if it is in the visible presence of the minor's adult parent, guardian or spouse. Title 4 Chapter 106S.B. No. 1331

Utah

  • for religious purposes
  • for medical purposes
  • when reporting medical need due to underage drinking for another minor

32A-12-209SB 233

Vermont

  • for educational purposes
  • when reporting medical need due to underage drinking for another minor

Must be 18 or older and for culinary school. Title 7 Chapter 1 §2-3; Title 7 Chapter 21 §656HB 65

Virginia

  • on private non alcohol-selling premises, with parental consent

§ 4.1-200; 4.1-304; 4.1-305

Washington

  • on private non alcohol-selling premises, with parental consent
  • for religious purposes
  • for medical purposes
  • when reporting medical need due to underage drinking for another minor

RCW 66.44.270

West Virginia

  • Underage consumption of alcohol is prohibited with no exceptions.

The code does not prohibit a person from furnishing alcohol to a person under the age of 21 if the recipient is a blood relative or relative by marriage, but it is illegal for the underage recipient to consume the alcohol. §60-3A-24

Wisconsin

  • on private non alcohol-selling premises, with parental consent
  • for religious purposes
  • for medical purposes
  • on alcohol-selling premises with parental consent

Underage consumption of alcohol is allowed if accompanied by parent or legal guardian. 125.02; 125.07

Wyoming

  • on private non alcohol-selling premises, with parental consent
  • for religious purposes
  • for medical purposes
  • on alcohol-selling premises with parental consent

Underage consumption of alcohol is not prohibited when in a private location or if it is done in the physical presence of a parent or legal guardian. 12-6-101

Source: drinkingage.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=002591

III. Explanations of the Eight Exceptions to the MLDA:

1. on private non alcohol-selling premises, with parental consent: Underage consumption of alcohol in some states is allowed on private, non alcohol-selling premises as long as the under age person has the consent and/or is accompanied by the physical presence of a parent or legal guardian. Private, non alcohol-selling premises include residential homes, private properties not open to the general public, etc. In some states underage consumption of alcohol is also allowed on private, non alcohol-selling premises when the under age person is accompanied by a spouse who is at least 21. Each state sets its own specific requirements for what is considered legal.

2. on private, non alcohol-selling premises, without parental consent: Underage consumption of alcohol in some states is not prohibited on private, non alcohol-selling premises, although it may be illegal for adults to provide alcohol to underage people in those states. Each state sets its own specific requirements for what is considered legal.

3. for religious purposes: Underage consumption of alcohol in some states is allowed for religious purposes. Some states require that the alcohol be provided by an official religious representative and/or limit the type of alcohol allowed. Each state sets its own specific requirements for what is considered legal.

4. for medical purposes: Underage consumption of alcohol in some states is allowed for medical purposes. Each state sets its own specific requirements for what is considered legal.

5. for government work related purposes: Underage consumption of alcohol in some states is not prohibited when it is related to government or law enforcement assignments. Such assignments can include governmental research into under age drinking, working under cover, etc. Each state sets its own specific requirements for what is considered legal.

6. for educational purposes: Underage consumption of alcohol in some states is allowed when it is for educational purposes related to culinary school. Each state sets its own specific requirements for what is considered legal.

7. when reporting medical need due to under age drinking for another minor: In some states, a minor will not be penalized for consuming alcohol if he/she is discovered to have been drinking alcohol through his/her reporting a medical emergency for another under age drinker. Each state sets its own specific requirements for what is considered legal.

8. on alcohol-selling premises, with parental approval: In some states, underage consumption of alcohol is allowed on an alcohol-selling premise, such as a restaurant or a bar, if the alcohol is furnished to the minor by a legal guardian and if the minor is in the presence of his or her legal guardian.

People who view this page may also like:

International Guide to Minimum Drinking Ages
State-by-state history of minimum legal drinking ages
Source:  Last updated on: 3/10/2016 drinkingage.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=002591

Should the Drinking Age Be Lowered from 21 to a Younger Age?


All 50 US states have set their minimum drinking age to 21 although exceptions do exist on a state-by-state basis for consumption at home, under adult supervision, for medical necessity, and other reasons.

Proponents of lowering the minimum legal drinking age (MLDA) from 21 argue that it has not stopped teen drinking, and has instead pushed underage binge drinking into private and less controlled environments, leading to more health and life-endangering behavior by teens.

Opponents of lowering the MLDA argue that teens have not yet reached an age where they can handle alcohol responsibly, and thus are more likely to harm or even kill themselves and others by drinking prior to 21. They contend that traffic fatalities decreased when the MLDA increased.

Bar graph of current, binge, and heavy alcohol use among persons aged 12 to 20, by gender in 2007

Bar graph of current, binge, and heavy alcohol use among persons aged 12 to 20, by gender in 2007.

Source: Figure 3.7 in "Results from the 2007 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: National Findings," www.oas.samhsa.gov/NSDUH, Sep. 2008

The repeal of alcohol prohibition by the 21st Amendment on Dec. 5, 1933 allowed each state to set its own alcohol consumption laws. [3]At that time, most states established the MLDA for alcohol at 21 years of age, although two states set an MLDA of 21 for men and 18 for women: Illinois (1933-1961) and Oklahoma (1933-1976). The 1976 US Supreme Court case Craig v. Boren ruled 7-2 that this age difference violated the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. Following the July 1, 1971 passage of the 26th Amendment, which lowered the legal voting age from 21 to 18 years of age, 30 US states lowered their MLDA to 18, 19, or 20; by 1982, only 14 states still had an MLDA of 21.[3]

Reports in the 1970's showing that teenage car accidents increased in states where the MLDA had been lowered from 21 prompted Congress to pass the National Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984. [4] Bar graph showing 77% of Americans opposed to lowering the drinking age to 18 nationwide, polled July 12-15, 2007.

(Click to enlarge image)

Bar graph showing 77% of Americans opposed to lowering the drinking age to 18 nationwide, polled July 12-15, 2007.

Source: "Most Americans Oppose Lowering Legal Drinking Age to 18 Nationwide," www.gallup.com, July 27, 2007

Although the Act did not require a national MLDA of 21, it effectively mandated it by stipulating that some federal transportation funds would be withheld from states that failed to make 21 their minimum age for purchasing and publicly possessing alcohol.[3] Since 1984, all states that had previously lowered their MLDA from 21 have all raised their MLDA back to 21. South Dakota and Wyoming were the last states to do so in 1988. [3]

The consumption of alcohol by people under 21 is generally illegal across the United States, however, 45 states have set exceptions that allow underage consumption of alcohol in certain circumstances. For example, underage drinking is allowed in 29 states if done on private premises with parental consent, 25 states if for religious purposes, and 11 states if for educational purposes.

Proportion of 83 countries' MDLAs (if any) from ages 14 to 21. See source for the list of countries included and their drinking ages.

(Click to enlarge image)

Proportion of 83 countries' MLDAs (if any) from ages 14 to 21. See source for the list of countries included and their drinking ages.

Source: Cognac, "Legal Drinking Age In Different Countries," www.cognac.com, May 22, 2009

While the MLDA is 21 in all 50 states, in 47 of 50 states age 18 is the "age of majority," which entails having the rights and responsibilities of adulthood. [41] Every state sets its own age of majority that often corresponds with the age at which one can vote, join the military, serve in jury duty, sign contracts, marry, apply for loans, make decisions regarding medical treatments, and be prosecuted as an adult. Alabama (age 19), Mississippi (21), and Nebraska (age 19) are three states that have an "age of majority" above 18, although certain rights such as the right to vote remain at 18 in these states. [41]

The discrepancy between the MLDA and the age of majority--and its many responsibilities and authorities--along with continued incidents of alcohol abuse reported on college campuses have fueled debate on whether or not setting the MLDA at 21 is fair, smart, and effective.
Source: drinkingage.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=006448

 
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