Underage drinking is not an uncommon practice in America today. In fact, many minors drink some alcohol at one time or another, whether it is a one-time experiment or a pattern of behavior. The question naturally arises, then: If underage drinking is illegal, how do so many minors acquire alcohol?
Many get it through various illegal means, such as the assistance of a person who is over 21, or stealing it from others. A common concern, however, is that some liquor stores may not be asking for identification when a minor steps up to make a purchase.
Police in Howard County decided to begin a sting operation to crack down on suspected failure to card in the region. A 19-year-old police cadet was sent into several Howard County liquor stores where he attempted to purchase alcohol. In five instances, he was not carded and was able to purchase the alcohol successfully.
Those five liquor stores were cited for failure to card and will be facing a hearing before the Alcoholic Beverage Hearing Board. The establishments could face a fine of up to $2,000 and a possible temporary license suspension.
According to the local police chief, underage drinking contributes to drunk driving, poor judgment and risky behaviors. As a result, officers treat the crime very seriously.
Though many view a minor in possession charge as a relatively light offense, the truth is it can still result in a black mark on one’s criminal record. In many cases, the charges may have even been applied accidentally, as part of a misunderstanding during a large bust. In these cases, those who have been accused should consider refuting the charges against them with the help of a qualified criminal defense attorney.
Source: The Baltimore Sun, “Police cite five Howard Co. liquor stores for selling to underage customers” Luke Lavoie, Nov. 22, 2013