It is fairly common knowledge that the legal drinking age in Philadelphia is 21 years old. However, despite knowing that, many people under the age of 21 consume alcohol on a fairly regular basis. In order to do this though, someone over the age of 21 needs to provide the alcohol to the minor since it is illegal for them to purchase it as well. Many times it is an older friend or maybe a sibling, but this is not always the case.
For instance, two parents in Drexel Hill were recently charged with providing alcohol to minors, among other charges, after allowing their daughter to have a party at their house. This was not just a small group of friends either. According to the police, there were hundreds of teenagers at the house.
They received multiple complaints for noise and other disturbances and when they showed up, allegedly there were approximately 100 people outside the house and many more inside. The teenagers began to scatter after the police arrived, allegedly running through neighbors’ back yards and ripping down fences. The police spoke with the owner of the house who is the father of a 17 year old daughter who threw the party. The owner was arrested that night and his wife was arrested later when she went to get him out on bail.
Being charged with underage drinking or providing alcohol to a minor is a serious offense despite how common it is. There are immediate consequences such as fines and probation, but it can also have long-term consequences as well that young people do not realize even exist when they decide to drink alcohol.
However, while underage drinking or providing alcohol to minors is a serious offense, being charged does not automatically mean that the person is guilty of the crime. There may be defenses available to the person charged and everyone is innocent until proven guilty. Experienced attorneys understand both the consequences and potential defenses and may be able to guide one through the process.
Source: 6abc.com, “Parents charged after rowdy party in Drexel Hill“, Sarah Bloomquist, March 21, 2016