In addition to the laws regarding DUI charges, there are also many federal laws designed to protect underage individuals from some of the negative outcomes related to drinking at a young age. Dram shop laws, for example, exist in all but nine states, decreeing that any shop that sells to a minor, or for that matter an already intoxicated person, and a death or injury results, the shop will be held liable.
Underage drinkers who use a fake ID to purchase alcohol can have their license suspended, in all fifty states. And, to ensure that new drivers understand the necessity of driving sober, all but ten states have graduated drivers licensing. These laws keep new drivers on a tight leash, moving them up in a three-tiered licensing system slowly, as they are driving without drinking or citation and are following nighttime restrictions.
If a shop or store knowingly sells alcohol to a minor, in any of the fifty states, the business will be held liable and can face serious penalties. The Alcohol Beverage Commission (ABC) in each state regulates the sale of alcohol and monitors businesses to watch for sales to minors.
More than just stores are responsible to ensure that alcohol is not provided to minors. If the host of a party provides alcohol to minors and the minor is involved in an accident involving death or injury, the host of the party may find him or herself cleaning up a lot more than cups and streamers.
If a minor purchases alcohol, the minor will also face legal charges and potentially long-term consequences. Even an attempt at a purchase can be prosecuted, if the minor is turned down in an attempt to buy alcohol. If the underage individual consumes any alcohol, it is against the law and is a punishable offense.
Finally, all fifty states have Zero Tolerance Laws. These laws make sure that no underage individuals drink and drive. If a driver under 21 blows even a .02 or more, he or she will face criminal charges and penalties.
The laws regarding underage drinking are set in place to protect not only the underage individuals, but the rest of the community as well. Underage drinking is a dangerous road and can lead to potentially deadly consequences.