Despite the law stating that one must be 21years-old to legally drink, many people in Philadelphia drink before they attain that age. Many of them do not think about the consequences of underage drinking though. They are simply worried about fitting in or getting drunk to help them let loose and have fun. However, despite the fact that underage drinking is somewhat common, the consequences of a conviction can have long-term consequences that may not be immediately apparent.
Four teens were recently cited for underage drinking by the Pennsylvania State Police at a local race track. The police allegedly found the teenagers outside of the actual race track in the parking lot. The ages of the teenagers cited were between 16 and 20. There was also one adult with them as well. It was not reported what drew the police to the teenagers or if their behavior was causing a scene.
These four teenagers, if convicted of underage drinking, will have to deal with the serious consequences that stem from it. The immediate consequences may not seem terribly severe, but it is the long-term ones that could cause underage drinkers the most problems. They may lose their driver's license for a period of time. They will have to also put the conviction on school and job applications and will have a criminal record. This can negatively affect their ability to get a job or get into college.
There are defenses available to teenagers in this position, though, as well as ways to avoid a conviction. There are diversion programs potentially available. These programs allow a person charged with underage drinking to avoid a conviction, if they are able to successfully complete certain requirements. If the person is not convicted, then it may have less of an impact on their future.
Many teenagers in Philadelphia are cited for underage drinking every year. Many do not even realize how that citation can have a major impact on their future. Nonetheless, there may be defenses available to a person charged with underage drinking, as well as ways to keep a conviction off their record. Understanding these legal options can be the key to avoiding these long-term consequences.
Source: The York Daily Record, "Police cite teens at Williams Grove Speedway for underage drinking," July 23, 2014