It may be tempting for adults in North Dakota to provide alcohol to those under the age of 21, for several reasons. One of the most common would be older friends buying drinks for their younger peers. Some adults, including parents, might decide it is safer to host a party with alcohol in their homes after an event like a dance or ball game, instead of letting teenagers go off to drink – and drive – elsewhere. However, the attorneys at Dusek Law can assure you that this could hardly be a worse decision. No matter what you may think about providing alcohol to underage drinkers, North Dakota law will enact strict penalties.
According to a brochure by the North Dakota Prevention Resource Center, the state is the highest in the nation for binge drinking among teens and young adults. To reduce the chances of minors getting into drunk driving accidents and other drinking-related mishaps, the penalties for furnishing alcohol to minors are severe. If you are charged with this Class A misdemeanor, you may end up spending a year in prison and paying a $2,000 fine.
In addition to the criminal consequences, there are civil and social issues you could face. If, for example, you host a party and an underage driver gets into an accident and harms someone, you could be held liable for the damages. You could also face legal action if a teen suffers from alcohol poisoning after you provide the booze, as well as the shame and stigma of having to face the minor’s parents.
It is wise to know the potential consequences before doing something illegal, but you are also entitled to fair representation by an attorney. Learn more about alcohol-related charges by visiting our page.