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Get help for your child if they violate alcohol laws

The truth of the matter is that sometimes, kids do things they shouldn't. They make mistakes, get into trouble and cause problems for their parents. They don't always think through their actions, and those actions can lead to legal consequences.

Underage drinking is one of the most common issues with minors and their parents. While possession is allowed in certain private locations, with a parent or guardian or with a spouse, it is still very easy for a minor to be charged for possessing alcohol and to face penalties accordingly in California.

Interestingly, California's laws don't specifically ban alcohol consumption by minors. This is likely because there are instances when it is legal for minors to drink, such as during a religious event or with the permission of a parent in a private home. However, minors who try to buy alcohol for consumption are committing a crime.

Minors who use false IDs are committing a criminal offense

Using a fake ID to buy alcohol is against the law. To make it easier for retailers to avoid selling alcohol to minors, the licenses for drivers under 21 are significantly different than those for individuals over 21. Retailers are able to take away apparently fake IDs, too.

Zero tolerance is in place for young drivers

Another thing to know is that drivers under 21 have a maximum BAC limit of .01%. Any amount above this falls under per se laws and will result in accusations of a violation. If a minor buys or possesses alcohol, they can lose their license through suspension or revocation.

What should you do if your child violated California's underage drinking laws?

You should reach out to your attorney right away and make sure your child does not say anything incriminating to the police. They may have made a mistake, but most people would agree that a single error in youth shouldn't have consequences extending into adulthood.

Your attorney can help you fight the charges and reduce the penalties your child faces. There may be alternatives as well, like substance abuse treatment programs, that you may want to consider if your child has a drinking problem.

Parents are put in a difficult position when a child drinks and drives or violates other alcohol laws, and you may not be sure what steps to take. That's why it's best to work with your attorney from the moment you get the phone call that your child is in trouble with the law.

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