When you’re under the age of 21, getting caught with alcohol can
mean you’re in deep trouble. Fortunately, there are some defenses
for having alcohol that can protect you and your reputation, so you don’t
end up with a misdemeanor on your record.
For instance, if you work in a restaurant that has a liquor license in
the state of Maryland, you can legally serve alcohol and possess it, but
you aren’t allowed to consume it. As long as you’re in your
work environment or performing work duties, you may possess and
handle alcohol as necessary.
Another time you’re allowed to have alcohol is if you want to drink
in a private residence. For example, if your parents offer you wine with
dinner, it’s perfectly legal for you to drink a glass with dinner.
The same is true if you’re at a party at home and your family is
drinking, offering you some as well.
You may also
drink alcohol in religious ceremonies as long as it is a ceremony approved by the state of Maryland. Both the
Roman Catholic and Episcopal churches have activities that involve the
consumption of alcohol.
If you have had alcohol and are driving afterward, you may be able to defend
yourself against a drunk driving charge if you’ve participated in
one of the above situations. You typically can have no alcohol in your
blood test in Maryland if you’re under 21, but if you can show a
genuine reason for a low level of alcohol, then you may be able to have
your case dropped or penalties lessened. Our website has more information
on protecting yourself against these charges.