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Underage Drinking Laws

Like many other states, Rhode Island, over the years, has tightened its laws regarding underage individuals being caught with an alcoholic beverage or having consumed an alcoholic beverage. In the good old days, the penalty would have been a slap on the wrist and a call home to the parents. Now, however, things are drastically different.

Rhode Island has some kinks in its laws regarding underage individuals and alcohol. Like most states, it is illegal for an individual to possess an alcoholic beverage in the state. People who are caught with alcohol are typically subject to a citation of some sort and a fine. The state does allow exceptions based on some very limited religious, educational, or medical purposes. For example, an individual that is attending a cooking school may be allowed to have an alcoholic beverage in his or her possession if that person is using it for school.

Oddly enough, the state does not explicitly prohibit consumption of alcohol by underage individuals. The argument there is probably that the person cannot consume alcohol without possessing it and so is, most likely, covered by the possession statute.

Individuals who have not yet had their twenty first birthdays are not permitted to buy alcohol. The one exception to this rule is when the minors are being used in some sort of police operation to catch liquor stores or other purveyors of alcohol that are selling to minors without checking identification. Here it is ok for the minor to buy alcohol.

Contact a Rhode Island DUI Defense Lawyer

If you are under 21 and were caught with alcohol in your possession, contact the Rhode Island DUI defense lawyer Matthew Marin at 401-287-4384 to discuss your situation and to determine the best plan for a successful defense.