Spring break is finally here! It’s time to cut loose, forget all about your studies, and have a good time.
While there’s nothing wrong with relaxing and enjoying yourself, don’t forget that you’re not allowed to drink alcohol until you’re twenty-one years old. If you choose to ignore this, an underage drinking charge won’t just ruin your spring break, it will also have a negative impact on your life over the next few years.
It doesn’t matter if you’re pulled over for speeding or if the cops show up at a party, if your blood alcohol content is over .05 and you’re under twenty-one, you’ll find yourself on the wrong side of the law.
For the record, a single beer is all it takes to put you over .05.
The days when an underage drinking charge resulted in a difficult phone call to your parents and some community service time are long over. California lawmakers have decided to crackdown on underage drinking during spring break.
The first time you get caught drinking while you’re underage, the potential consequences are:
- Serving 24-32 hours of community service
- A $250 fine
- Attending an alcohol education program
Each time you’re caught drinking while underage after the first conviction, the consequences are:
- 36-48 hours of community service
- A $500 fine
- A one-year drivers license suspension
The very first time you’re caught drinking and driving while underage, the potential consequences can include:
- Spending at least 48 hours in jail
- Spending 3 years on probation
- Lowing your good driver status for 10 full years (this will lead to significantly higher insurance premiums)
- 2 points getting added to your current driving record
Some California counties will also install an ignition lock on any vehicles that are registered in your name.
It’s important to remember that minors aren’t the only ones who can get into trouble for underage drinking. Anyone who allows minors to drink will also find themselves on the wrong side of the law.
Parents who allow their children to consume alcohol while at home can get into serious trouble if that child is caught behind the wheel while under the influence. A guilty conviction of letting a minor drive while intoxicated includes a one-year jail sentence and a $1,000.
If the court decides that you’ve contributed to the delinquency of a minor, they can hit you with a one-year jail sentence and a $2,500 fine.
Businesses that serve alcohol to minors face a misdemeanor charge that can include a year in jail and a $1,000 fine. The charge can also jeopardize their business license.
It is in everyone’s best interest to remember that alcohol and minors shouldn’t mix this spring break.