Arizona Underage Drinking Laws

Lerner & Rowe Law Group
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Despite laws in all 50 states against underage drinking, it still remains a serious problem across the country. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that “people aged 12 to 20 years drink 11% of all alcohol consumed in the U.S.” This might surprise many parents.

Strict Arizona underage drinking laws attempt to curb minors from drinking and include stern repercussions for underage driving under the influence (DUI). Parents and guardians should be aware of the laws and share the consequences of breaking them with minors in their care.


Exceptions to Arizona Underage Drinking Laws

The legal drinking age in Arizona is 21. Exceptions to this law include alcohol consumption for legitimate medicinal purposes. Another is if it is used as part of a religious service or ceremony.

Another Arizona law states that a person must be 21 to patronize a bar. An exception to this law is if a minor is accompanied by a parent, legal guardian or spouse that is of legal drinking age. However, minors are still not allowed to order or consume alcoholic beverages on the premises.

Arizona also has strict laws addressing minors in possession (MIP) of alcohol and driving under the influence (DUI).

Arizona Underage Drinking Penalties

Now that you know the laws, what are the penalties for breaking them?

Minors can be charged with a misdemeanor for possessing (MIP) for:

  • consuming alcohol
  • illegally obtaining alcohol or gaining entrance to licensed alcohol establishments with a fake ID
  • asking someone to purchase alcohol for them
  • asking someone to sell or give them alcohol

Penalties for an MIP can include:

  • Class 1 Misdemeanors
    • up to 6 months in a juvenile detention facility
    • fined up to $2,500
    • up to 180-day driver’s license suspension
  • Class 2 Misdemeanors
    • up to 4 months in a juvenile detention facility
    • fined up to $750
    • up to 180-day driver’s license suspension
  • Class 3 Misdemeanors
    • up to 30 days in a juvenile detention facility
    • fined up to $500
    • up to 180-day driver’s license suspension

Minors caught with a blood alcohol content level of .01 can be charged with a DUI. Considered a Class 1 Misdemeanor, minors could face any of the following penalties:

  • 6 months in a juvenile detention facility
  • $2,500 fine
  • 2 year suspension of driver’s license
  • installation of ignition interlock device on vehicle
  • community service
  • probation
  • alcohol treatment program requirements

Hire the Best Phoenix Criminal Defense Lawyers

While parents worry about children drinking in high school, going off to college often provides even more drinking opportunities and legal ramifications. If your child faces an MIP or DUI charge, or is facing additional charges due to a missed court date in Arizona, you’ll find some of the best Phoenix criminal defense attorneys for minors at Lerner & Rowe Law Group.

Our team of experienced and board certified juvenile criminal defense attorneys know how to defend and protect underage offenders against Arizona Underage Drinking laws. Call our office at 602-667-7777 for a free consultation and to discuss our affordable payment plans today.