Drinking underage in Maryland can cause many problems for teens or young
adults. Even having a small amount of alcohol in the blood stream can
be enough for a minor to be arrested and charged, leading to penalties
like fines or jail time. For that reason, if you’re under age and
accused of drinking, you need to defend yourself.
It’s not legal for anyone under 21 to drink alcohol. If you, as a
teen or person under 21, are caught with a blood alcohol content of .02
percent or higher, you can be charged with underage drinking. If you were
driving at the time when you registered the 0.02 BAC, you can be found
guilty of driving under the influence even though the adult legal limit is 0.08.
As a minor, you have no reason to provide police with any incriminating
evidence or information. You don’t need to be intimidated by police;
if an officer asks if you’ve been drinking, you don’t actually
have to answer. Underage drinking is a misdemeanor. That means that a
charge and conviction will go on your criminal record. A simple mistake
as a young adult, in this case, could have lifelong consequences without
the right defensive strategy.
If you’ve been arrested or have struggled with an underage drinking
charge, don’t try to fight it alone. Our webpage on
underage drinking provides more information about your options if you’ve been stopped
for or charged with underage drinking. You may be able to reduce or eliminate
your charge completely, helping you keep this mistake off your criminal
record. You may be able to put your past behind you and move forward without
any restrictions in your record.