John Mulvey, Attorney at law
(513) 721-0001
Serving Greater Cincinnati,
Southwestern Ohio and Northern Kentucky 

Legal Help When You Need It.


Underage Consumption of Alcohol


John Mulvey, Attorney, 513-721-0001

Many teens drink alcohol despite the fact that it is illegal.  This creates legal, physical and other hazards that many of them are either unaware of, or they choose to disregard.  I represent many young people every year who are charged with underage consumption.  I do not condone drinking by people under 21 – particularly binge drinking.   However, in my opinion, dealing with underage drinking is an issue often best handled at home by responsible parents and counselors rather than by the police or courts – and others who more likely than not have committed the exact same crime”.  These arrests result in expensive and time-consuming consequences to the family, the innocent parent and underage (often unemployed) client. 

Unfortunately, there are many avoidable situations where young, naive people are arrested and charged.

According to a May 2011 Report To Congress regarding Underage Drinking, on average, alcohol is a factor in the deaths of approximately 4,700 youths in the United States per year. 

  Legally: In Ohio, it is illegal for anyone under 21 years of age to order, pay for, share the cost of, attempt to purchase, possess, consume or be under the influence of any alcoholic beverage.  A violation of this statute is a misdemeanor of the first degree (M1). 

 

A conviction of a first degree misdemeanor can result in a jail term not to exceed 6 months; a fine of up to $1,000 plus court costs; or a term of probation which may include various requirements including – community service; random alcohol and drug screens; maintaining full time employment; attendance in an alcohol treatment program paid for by the defendant/juvenile.  A conviction can also result in the imposition of longer sentences on new (future) convictions. 

As an alternative to imposing a criminal record, sometimes when an accused has no history of prior delinquency or criminal activity, the court may order the accused defendant into a diversion program.  In many courts, a defendant is ineligible to enter into a diversion program if they have previously been “diverted”.  While in the program, the court holds the complaint in abeyance.  Upon successful completion of the diversion, the court will dismiss the complaint and order the defendant’s record in the case dismissed and sealed.  If the defendant fails to complete the diversion program, the court will then proceed with prosecution or sentencing pursuant to the original Complaint.

 

 

Of great consequence is the fact that if charged with another crime in the future, the diversion used in the underage consumption charge makes the next charge ineligible for diversion. 

 

1.       If you are under 21 years old, don’t drink alcohol;

2.      If you do drink – don’t drive  It is often cheaper to take a private helicopter ride home than it is to pay to defend or get convicted of a DUI/OVI charge;

3.      If you do drink, don’t get arrested – typically, the first candidates to get arrested are the ones who stand out in the crowd or "mouth off" instead of shutting up.    

4.      If questioned by the police, identify yourself, and then shut up.

a.                  Always be calm. 

b.                  You have the right to remain silent.  That right exists before the police explain your rights.   Do not tell a lie.  A polite but effective response after being pulled over and asked “Do you know why I pulled you over?” may include, "Would you please tell me officer?”  This avoids making any admission but still gives the officer a response.

c.                   Don't get tricked into waiving your rights.    

d.                  Determine if you're free to go.  If you are, leave.  In many situations a few officers arrive at a scene where there are numerous kids.  When an officer tells you to leave, do not hesitate, do not try to discuss anything and certainly do not argue.  Just leave.  What the officer is really saying is "leave now or be arrested."  The officer will not care if you are looking for your friends.  Leave.  If you have been drinking, leave your car and keep on walking.  Call your parents or another adult for a ride.  They might be mad for a few hours, but it is worth it.

e.      Don't run.  [“. . . headlong flight is the consummate act of evasion.”]

f.       Never touch an officer.

 

5.      If you get arrested, identify yourself and ask for a parent (if under 18) or attorney – and then shut up.  One way to assert your right to remain silent is to say “Officer, I have been told by my parents/lawyer, that they must be present in a situation like this before I answer any questions or before you can search me.”  THEN BE QUIET.


John Mulvey

Office:   (513) 721-0001

Mobile:  (513) 236-1204

 

The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this or associated pages, documents, comments, answers, emails, or other communications should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information on this website is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing of this information does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. 


The act of inquiring about representation from me  does not establish a client-lawyer relationship. Your inquiry will be kept confidential, but does not obligate me to respond. 

The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this or associated pages, documents, comments, answers, emails, or other communications should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information on this website is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing of this information does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. 
NOTICE: The act of inquiring about representation to The Koffel Law Firm does not establish a client-lawyer relationship. Your inquiry will be kept confidential. Submitting an inquiry does not obligate The Koffel Law Firm to respond. Also, a confidential inquiry on this website does not prevent The Koffel Law Firm from representing a co-defendant or adverse party.


 

 

 

 


2306 Park Avenue Cincinnati, Ohio 45206

Serving Greater Cincinnati, Southwestern Ohio and Northern Kentucky - State and Federal Courts