The state of Virginia, like other states in the U.S., only allow a person to legally consume alcohol at the age of 21 or higher. Underage drinking can carry severe penalties for everyone involved, including the adult who provided the underage person with alcohol. Underage drinking can yield Class 1 misdemeanor charges, which can include all of, or a variation of, a fine of up to $2,500, a year in jail, 50 hours of community service, and the loss of your driver’s license for up to a year. The court may even order mandatory substance abuse counseling.
Any person under the age of 21 who attempts to purchase or possess an alcoholic substance is liable to be charged with this misdemeanor, so contact The Lawrence Law Firm, PLC in Roanoke, VA, for your best chance at success in your underage drinking case.
However, depending on the discretion of the police officer and your own consent, you may be escorted into protective custody or a substance abuse treatment center instead of incurring a public intoxication charge. If you are given this option, you will not be arrested for being drunk in public, but you will be charged with any crimes you committed while intoxicated. The best defense against a public intoxication conviction is a skilled and capable attorney on your side, which you can find at The Lawrence Law Firm, PLC in Southwest Virginia.