The State of Wisconsin takes underage drinking very seriously. According to Wisconsin law, it is illegal to purchase, possess, or consume alcohol if you are under twenty-one years of age. If you have been charged with underage drinking or if you know a young college student who has been charged with drinking underage, here is what you need to know.
Underage Drinking Charges and Penalties in Rock County
It is illegal to have even one sip of alcohol if you are underage. Wisconsin has an Absolute Sobriety law also known as the “not a drop” law. If an underage individual’s blood-alcohol content registers even one point over .00, an underage drinking citation will be issued along with a $200 fine and three-month driver license suspension.
Technically, Wisconsin classifies underage drinking charges into two categories: (1) a juvenile charge for children under age seventeen, and (2) an underage charge for individuals between the ages of seventeen and twenty. As a non-forfeiture offense, underage drinking may not result in jail time, but that does not mean it goes unpunished. Penalties for underage drinking vary by case and include fines, driver’s license suspensions, and community service or other work programs.
For nearly all underage drinking offenses, the court may offer a supervised work program or court-ordered stay upon the completion of an alcohol assessment when the defendant agrees to participate in an alcohol education or treatment program. To read more about the specific charges and penalties for underage drinking, click here.
Defenses for Underage Drinking in Rock County
If you were cited for underage drinking, that does not mean you are without options. Sometimes, faulty testing equipment can result in bad readings. Additionally, if the initial police encounter was improper, information arising from that illegal stop is bad evidence that cannot be used against you. An experienced attorney can review your case and help you identify the best strategy for resolving your case.
What UW-Whitewater Students Should Know About Underage Drinking
It is not uncommon for college students to disregard underage drinking laws. However, just because there is a false assumption that everybody drinks in college does not make drinking legal for all. In addition to risking suspension of their driver’s licenses and racking up expensive fines, underage college students should consider how an underage drinking conviction may affect their education privileges.
There is no tolerance for underage drinking in Wisconsin, and UW-Whitewater is no exception. UW-Whitewater students should carefully review their school’s policies on alcohol. An underage drinking charge could risk scholarships, extra-curricular privileges, and housing. Review UW-Whitewater’s alcohol beverage policy here and through the University Housing page.
How Can an Attorney Help You Fight Underage Drinking Charges?
Whether you are looking for a defense or just want to resolve your charges as quickly as possible, contact an experienced Janesville criminal defense attorney to help you. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you navigate the legal proceedings stemming from your charge.