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Underage Drinking Offenses in Phoenix, Arizona

It is common knowledge among American adults and parents that teenagers have a tendency to drink alcoholic beverages and smoke cigarettes even though it’s against the law.

In fact, the vast majority of parents can easily recall seeing teenagers in their youth try to purchase alcohol, or use a fake ID at a liquor store, or serve alcohol at parties when their parents were out of town. Sometimes, these parents are the ones that did all of these things back in the 70s, 80s and 90s.

These days, it’s not nearly as easy for teenagers to get away with drug and alcohol-related offenses as it was in their parents’ generation. With cameras everywhere, social media, and smartphones, it’s nearly impossible for a teenager to commit an underage drinking offense in public and not get caught.

Whether you are under the age of 21, or your son or daughter is, you must be aware of the various underage drinking offenses that are criminalized under Arizona law. For starters, here are some basic facts about liquor and age in Arizona that you should be aware of:

  • Under Arizona law, the legal drinking age is 21.
  • Children can be in a bar if they are with a spouse, parent, or legal guardian who is of legal drinking age.
  • An underage person cannot consume alcohol on a licensed premises, even if they have their parent’s consent.
  • If a young person attempts to buy alcohol with a fake ID, they can go to jail.

It is not uncommon for a teenager to use a false ID in an attempt to purchase alcohol at a restaurant, a bar, liquor store, or grocery store. If an underage person tries to buy alcohol with a fake ID or with someone else’s ID, he or she commits a Class 1 misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months in jail, and by a fine not to exceed $2,500.

It is also illegal for people under the age of 21 to:

  • Consume alcohol in public
  • Order a drink in public
  • Purchase alcohol
  • Drive under the influence of any amount of alcohol
  • Be in a bar without a parent or legal guardian
  • Ask someone else to buy, sell, or give them alcohol (Class 3 misdemeanor)

If you, or your son or daughter is facing underage drinking charges for any of the above offenses, we urge you to contact our Phoenix criminal defense firm to schedule a free consultation with Attorney Davidson, who is a former Maricopa County prosecutor.