Alcohol and Minors: Prohibited by Law

Last week I focused on Dads and Moms who were planning graduation parties. I wrote that Dads and Moms should not serve alcoholic beverages to high school students at graduation parties. Supplying alcoholic beverages to individuals under age 21 is against the law and can result in criminal charges. Furthermore, Pennsylvania imposes social host liability on adults who supply minors with alcoholic beverages. This means that adults can be liable for injuries and damages caused by those minors who are served alcoholic beverages. For example, if you give beer to a person who is under 21 and that person, while driving home, causes an accident, you
could be liable for the injuries resulting from that accident.

Most adults are responsible citizens and recognize the moral and legal danger in providing alcoholic beverages to underage individuals. Many of those underage individuals, however, are resourceful enough to have access to alcoholic beverages.

The law, however, forbids any person under the age of 21 to attempt to purchase, purchase, consume, possess or knowingly and intentionally transport any alcoholic beverages.

The law that forbids anyone under the age of 21 to purchase, consume, possess or transport alcoholic beverages allows for no exceptions and imposes a harsh penalty. Specifically, any minor who gets caught possessing, purchasing or consuming alcoholic
beverages gets hit not only with a fine but also loses his or her driver’s license for 90-days. Even if you walked to the party and a car was not involved at all, you still lose your driving privileges
for 90-days. When you stop to think what life would be like without a license for 90-days, you realize two things. First, losing your license will be extremely inconvenient. You will also learn first hand that dealing with PennDOT is just not much fun. Second, you realize that Pennsylvania views underage drinking as a very serious health and safety issue. The statistics warrant Pennsylvania’s concerns, many accidents and serious injuries, both from vehicle and non vehicle related incidents are caused by underage drinking.

Senior week is coming. Be careful out there. Thank you for reading.
John A. Orlando, Esquire can be reached in his office at 115 Fayette Street, by phone at (610) 897-2576 or by email at Please visit our website at