Underage alcohol consumption tickets can be trouble.
Underage alcohol consumption/possession (underage drinking) tickets are extremely common once students return to college. Fortunately, an underage drinking ticket is a forfeiture. A forfeiture is a non-criminal offense that results in a fine. Jail or prison time are not consequences of a forfeiture, but certain other collateral consequences are.
At Meyer Van Severen, S.C. we believe that drinking tickets are best dealt with by an experience criminal defense attorney. If you’re pursuing a professional career, you will probably have to explain the tickets at some point. If it’s dismissed or reduced now you will have less to explain in the future.
Finally, for representation, call Meyer Van Severen at (414) 270-0202. We defend forfeitures, misdemeanors, and felonies throughout Wisconsin. Our criminal defense attorneys respond to phone calls 24/7.
What does the law say?
Section 125.07(4) of the Wisconsin Statutes provides general underage alcohol consumption guidelines. The law indicates:
… “any underage person not accompanied by his or her parent, guardian or spouse who has attained the legal drinking age who knowingly possesses or consumes alcohol beverages is guilty of a violation.”
This is pretty clear. If you’re not with your parents, under 21, and either possess or consume alcohol, you committed the offense.
What are the penalties for underage alcohol possession or consumption?
Consuming or possessing alcohol, when the individual is between 17-20 years old can have serious consequences. A first offense carries with it fines ranging between $100.00 and $200.00 and a 30-90 day driver’s license suspension. A second offense within one year carries with it fines ranging between $200.00 and $300.00 and up to a year driver’s license suspension. A third offense within one year carries a fine of $300.00 – $500.00 and a driver’s license suspension of up to one year. A fourth offense within a year carries a fine between $500.00 and $1,000.00 and a driver’s license suspension of up to two years.
Should I hire an attorney for my underage drinking ticket?
Hiring a criminal defense attorney can be beneficial when facing an underage drinking ticket. Often these matters can be resolved in a manner that does not result in a driver’s license suspension and the ticket remaining on one’s record forever. In most municipalities throughout Wisconsin an individual is presented with the opportunity to complete an alcohol awareness class. Prosecutors frequently reduce tickets to lower charges, or dismiss them altogether, upon completion of the class. Prosecutors usually don’t offer classes for second or subsequent offenses.
Using or possessing fake identification is also a forfeiture, but is punishable by a fine ranging between $300.00 and $1,250.00 and a driver’s license suspension ranging between 30 and 90 days.
Contact Meyer Van Severen, S.C. at (414) 270-0202
Our Wisconsin criminal defense attorneys regularly work on cases involving underage alcohol charges. While it may be easy to say “this is just a fine,” it’s important to remember that the citation and the arrest stick with you for the rest of your life. An underage alcohol violation is not just a fine and has to be reported in certain instances for the rest of your life. Law school, medical school, college, or the military may seem like they’re years down the road, but underage alcohol offenses will come back to haunt you. It’s usually a better idea to deal with these issues while everything is fresh.
Finally, contact the criminal defense attorneys at Meyer Van Severen, S.C. at (414) 270-0202. Our attorneys respond to phone calls 24/7.
(Our criminal defense attorneys updated this blog post on December 11, 2019.)