Underage drinking is a big deal in today’s world. Drinking under
the age of 21 is an offense in Maryland, although those underage may have
a blood alcohol content under .02 without consequences from a DUI. It’s
illegal for anyone under 21 to drink alcohol or to possess it; that means
that they may only have a bottle in their vehicle, but it’s still illegal.
For those under 21, the limit for their BAC is .02. If the BAC is found
to be over .02, then the minor can be charged with underage drinking.
If your child happens to be driving with a BAC of 0.02 or higher, police
may charge your child with driving under the influence.
In Maryland, underage drinking and minor in possession charges are both
misdemeanors. That means that if your child has either of those charges
against them and is found guilty, he or she will have that offense on
his or her criminal record. Interestingly, minors often incriminate themselves.
The police may ask if they’ve been drinking, but they have no legal
obligation to tell an officer they have been. In fact, telling an officer
that you’ve had a drink when you’re a minor can lead to criminal
charges; even a small amount of alcohol can easily contribute to a BAC of 0.02.
The effects of this kind of charge on your child’s criminal record
could be immense. It could be harder to find jobs that require driving
or schools may look at the record when determining placement in university
programs. If you’re interested in learning how to prevent criminal
charges, please visit our
underage drinking webpage.