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Exception to the law against underage drinking in Philadelphia

There are many colleges and universities in the Philadelphia area. Students primarily attend these institutions in order to receive a college degree and hopefully find well-paying and satisfying employment afterwards. It is also many students’ first time not living with their parents; a time when they establish themselves as adults. When students are exploring their freedom, many of them go to parties and consume alcohol in order to let loose and have a good time.

Many of these students are under the age of 21 though. This means that when they drink alcohol they are violating the law and could receive citations for underage drinking. Some think this type of citation isn’t a big deal, though, and therefore think that the rewards of drinking outweigh the risks. However, what many do not realize is that these citations are criminal offenses and will stay on one’s criminal record. This could affect their ability to get a job or enroll in additional educational opportunities in the future.

There are a couple of exceptions to the general rule, though. One of these exceptions is if the police only find out that an underage individual consumed alcohol after the person called 911 when another person needed help. Certain requirements must be met in order to fall into this exception. First is that the person must be calling 911 in order to prevent serious injury or death. Second, they must believe that they are the first one calling 911 to report the incident. Third, they must stay with the individual needing help until emergency response teams arrive.

Many people in Philadelphia drink while they are underage. While it may not seem like that big of a deal since so many others do it, a conviction could have long-term consequences in addition to the immediate ones. There are a couple exceptions to the law and potential defenses to explore. Experienced attorneys understand the exceptions and defenses and may be able to help protect one’s rights.

Source: Pennsylvania State Legislature, “Title 18 § 6308“, accessed Dec. 19, 2016


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