There are age restrictions on the right to consume alcohol. Right now most people know that the legal drinking age is 21-years-old. So, it is illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to consume alcohol and they could receive an underage drinking violation if they do. However, many people under the age of 21 still consume alcohol in Philadelphia each year. This is especially true at the various colleges and universities in and around Philadelphia.
So, that means that someone must be providing the alcohol to the minors. Some may have fake IDs, but many others rely on those over the age of 21 to buy alcohol for them or rely on bars and stores that do not properly ID them prior to selling it to them. This is also illegal to do and the person providing the alcohol may actually have a more severe penalty than the person under 21 who consumes it.
If a person is caught selling or providing alcohol to a minor, they may be convicted of a misdemeanor of the third degree. The person may face a number of penalties, but they will also have to pay a minimum fine of $1,000 for a first time offense and $2,500 for each subsequent offense. The judge does not have the ability to order a fine less than those amounts or to stay a sentence in any way, but they do have the ability to impose a fine greater than that amount.
However, everyone is innocent until proven guilty, and simply being charged with a crime for providing alcohol to minors does not mean the person is guilty. There may be defenses available to them. It is important to understand these defenses in order to help protect one’s rights.
Source: Pennsylvania Legislature, “Pennsylvania Statute Title 18 sec. 6310.1“, accessed Aug. 8, 2016