Placer Sheriff’s Office Receives Grant to Help Curb Underage Drinking

In lieu of the start of the school year for many college and school-aged students, the Placer County Sheriff’s Office in Northern California has received a $50,000 grant from the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (“ABC”) for programs to combat underage drinking and alcohol sales to minors. The Roseville Police Department will participate in the grant, assisting the Sheriff’s office in providing training regarding alcohol-related crimes and their effects for school staff members, parents, students, and the community. The Sheriff’s Office plans to target ABC licensed stores that sell alcoholic beverages to minors and obviously intoxicated adult patrons. Minor-decoy and shoulder-tap operations also will be conducted countywide in an effort to reduce minors’ access to alcohol.

Counties throughout the state are cracking down on alcohol sales to minors.  Earlier this summer, an undercover operation across the state called Operation “Shoulder Tap” led to the arrest or citation of over 400 people in San Diego for purchasing alcohol for a minor.

Minors in Possession of Alcohol

It goes without saying that it is illegal in every state for a person under age 21 to drink or possess alcohol. California Business and Professions Code 25662 addresses the crime of minors possessing alcohol. Possessing alcohol as a minor is a misdemeanor that is punishable by fines and community service.

Penalties include:

  • A fine of $250;
  • 24 to 32 hours of community service that does not interfere with attending school or work;
  • A second or subsequent offense will result in a fine up to $500 and 36 to 48 hours of community service;
  • Your license will also be suspended for a year by the CA DMV; or
  • The judge may also mandate a drug or alcohol treatment program for you.

However, because this is a misdemeanor, a conviction will still appear on your permanent record.

Legal Defenses

Possible legal defenses for this charge are if you are carrying out the duties of a job (ie. if you are a waiter bringing wine to a table) or simply bringing a drink to a parent. In addition, oftentimes alcohol is discovered pursuant to an illegal search or seizure. It is important to remember that you are allowed to refuse a search, and police must be invited into your home during a party if they do not have a warrant to enter.

San Diego Underage Drinking Lawyer

If you are facing drug-related charges or possession of alcohol as a minor, it is imperative to work with an attorney who fully understands the California criminal justice system. Studies have shown that youth under the age of 25 do not have the same cognitive and reasoning skills as fully-developed adults. A simple mistake should not lead you to have a criminal record for the rest of your life. If you have been arrested for a DUI, possession, or underage drinking, do not hesitate to contact attorney David Boertje today for a free consultation.