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Alcohol and Kids

According to the State Bar of California, a 2013 survey from the Centers for Disease Control found that two out of three high school students said they had tried at least one alcoholic drink in the past. “About one in three said they currently drink alcohol and had consumed at least one drink in the past 30 days,” reported the State Bar of California. One in five high schoolers said they drank alcohol before age 13, according to survey results.

In California, the legal age to consume alcohol is 21. This means it’s against the law to provide alcoholic beverages to anyone under the legal age. Individuals who are under the age of 21 are strictly prohibited from possessing alcohol in a public place, including on school grounds, out in the open, at a restaurant, or while driving on a state highway or road. Minors also must abide by local ordinances that prohibit individuals of all ages from drinking alcohol; for example, at recreation areas and public parks.

Serving Minors Alcohol is Illegal

Serving minors alcohol is strictly prohibited. If you work in a restaurant, bar or nightclub and you serve a minor alcohol, you could lose your job and face criminal charges. Of course, in most instances, minors cannot be in bars where liquor is served. A minor can be slapped with criminal charges if he or she uses a fake ID to purchase (or attempt to purchase) alcohol, or to enter a bar or nightclub where alcohol is served.

“Can I drink alcohol in front of my kids in the privacy of my own home?” While it is legal for parents and other adults to drink alcohol in front of minors in a private residence, it’s against the law for adults to provide alcohol to anyone under the age of 21. If an adult were to provide alcohol to a minor, he or she would be guilty of a misdemeanor. (BPC § 25658)

Suppose you allow your son or daughter, or their teenage friend to drink alcohol and his or her blood alcohol concentration (BAC) spikes to .05% or above and you allow them to drive. If this happens, you can get into legal trouble. If the teen gets into an accident, you could face misdemeanor charges, a $1,000 fine and up to one year in jail. (BPC § 25658.2)

Is your child facing DUI or alcohol-related charges in Orange County? If so, contact our firm to work with a board-certified expert in DUI defense!