Underage Drinking

North Carolina is strict about underage drinking. Students from out-of-state, whose laws may be more permissive, can be surprised when charged with an underage drinking offense. It is important that students take these charges seriously.

The law firm of Woody White Law PLLC stands committed to protecting the rights of all citizens, including those students and out-of-town visitors facing criminal charges for underage drinking. We understand the catastrophic impact these charges can have on the futures of underage drinkers. A conviction can compromise future opportunities in careers, education and even in one's personal and community life.

PENALTIES FOR UNDERAGE DRINKING IN NORTH CAROLINA

North Carolina has a flat ban on anyone under the age of 21 possessing, consuming or purchasing alcohol and imposes graduated penalties depending on a person's age. These offenses are misdemeanors and go on a person's permanent criminal record. In addition, the following penalties apply:

  • Anyone under the age of 19 who is convicted of an underage possession or drinking-related offense faces a potential $1,000 fine, 100 hours of community service and the loss of driving privileges.
  • Anyone aged 19 or 20 who is convicted of the same offense faces a potential $200 fine.
  • Anyone who attempts to use a fake ID to obtain alcohol could lose his or her driving privileges for a year.
  • Anyone who furnishes or sells alcohol to an underage person could lose his or her driver's license for a year, face a minimum fine of $250 and be ordered to perform 25 hours of community service. If the person who provides the alcohol is over 21, the fine could be as much as $2,000 and he or she could be sentenced to two years in prison.

UNDERAGE DRINKING AND DRIVING IN NEW HANOVER COUNTY AREA?

Drinking and driving is always a serious offense. It is critical that anyone who is charged with driving while impaired (DWI) seek experienced legal counsel as soon as possible to minimize the potential impact.

While driving privileges are generally suspended for a year, it is possible for a person to obtain limited driving privileges if he or she is between 18 and 20 years of age.

In addition to license suspension, penalties for underage drinking and driving generally include fines ranging between $100 and $2,000. Jail time can range anywhere from 24 hours to two years in prison.

Even if a person's blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is under .08, he or she can still be charged with DWI if certain conditions are present.

AN ATTENTIVE DEFENSE ATTORNEY PROVIDING STUDENTS WITH A TOUGH DEFENSE

Every member of our firm's legal team is dedicated to providing close, individualized attention on each client's matter. We can provide this level of comprehensive defense advice because our attorneys hold a commanding breadth of experience in criminal law.

Attorney James Blanton is a former state prosecutor and federal prosecutor. This experience enables him to support our clients with insights from both sides of the law. Attorney Woody White is a board-certified specialist in state and federal criminal law. Both James and Woody have earned stand-out ratings of AV - the highest rating available - from Martindale-Hubbell based on objective peer review.*

This attention entails providing you with a full understanding of the charges against you as well as of all the legal options available to you. Our clients confidently depend on our seasoned legal judgment, knowing that we work diligently to get your case dismissed even before it gets to trial. We also understand how to help you determine when a plea bargain, some form of community service or even trial might best protect your rights. In many cases, we can help avoid criminal convictions.

WILMINGTON UNDERAGE DRINKING DEFENSE ATTORNEYS

For a free initial consultation, call us at our North Carolina office: 910-338-4900. You can also contact our lawyers online. All communications between our firm and potential clients remain entirely confidential.

*AV Preeminent is a certification mark of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the confidential opinions of members of the Bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell ratings fall into two categories - legal ability and general ethical standards.