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Pennsylvania police crack down on underage drinking

As young adults head back to college around the Philadelphia area, underage drinking and related criminal charges are once again in the spotlight. Undercover Pennsylvania police recently patrolled the Made in America music festival. The undercover officers were looking for minors in consumption and other liquor law violations.

The officers worked with the Philadelphia Police Department to issue citations and make arrests connected to alcohol-related charges. Underage drinking and sale to minors were among the top concerns that officers planned to target.

Officers at the event were authorized to require those in attendance to produce identification of their age, if they were drinking and looked young or displayed signs of impairment. Officers were also authorized to monitor vendors at the event, who face fines or problems obtaining a permit at future events, if those vendors sold alcohol to minors. In addition, police officers recently stepped up efforts to curb underage drinking on Pennsylvania college campuses.

Serious consequences stem from alcohol-related charges. These include driver's license suspension, fines and possible jail time.

Loss of driver's license privileges can make it difficult or impossible to travel to work or school. Conviction of alcohol-related charges will be reflected on a person's criminal record and may impact the ability to get student loans or a job.

In many cases, underage drinking charges may be the first time minors have come into contact with the legal profession. Nonetheless, the consequences associated with underage drinking make it important for defendants to get the advice of experienced criminal defense professionals. Criminal charges do not mean one is guilty of the crime or infraction. A strong defense can lessen charges or result in acquittal.

Source: The Daily Pennsylvanian, "Liquor control officers to patrol Made in America," Alex Zimmermann, Aug. 28, 2013.

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