Teenage Possession of Alcohol or Drugs in Connecticut
Many teenagers choose to experiment with drugs and alcohol. Even though this is a common occurrence for teens, that doesn’t make it legal. While you might think that because these things are so common, the law would go easy on kids when dealing with drug or alcohol issues. But the truth is that drug and alcohol issues are taken seriously and can have serious consequences for your child. On this page, I will discuss the possession offense, as well as other related drug and alcohol issues that a minor might face.
Possession of Drugs/Alcohol
One common crime that minors can be charged with is possession of drugs. In order to be convicted of this charge, the state must prove a few different things. The state must prove:
- That the defendant knew the character of the substance;
- Knew of its presence, and;
- Exercised dominion and control over it.
Many times the police will charge a group of youths with possession if they find a drug in their midst. If your child was in the presence of drugs but charged with possession, our law firm can fight this charge on your child’s behalf. Just because you are in the presence of drugs doesn’t mean you are possessing it, and your child shouldn’t be punished because some other child had something on them. Many time, we see all kids in a car charged with possession of drugs when only one of them actually had them. When that happens, you MUST fight it or risk your child having a record for drug possession.
In addition to drug possession, children can also be charged with alcohol possession. Alcohol possession is as simple as it sounds, and the law is called “Purchasing liquor or making false statement to procure liquor by person forbidden to purchase prohibited. Possessing liquor by minor on public or private property prohibited…” (CGS 30-89). One of the interesting things about this charge is that often the police destroy the alcohol rather than take it into custody, and many times the state cannot prove the beverage was actually alcohol. If you simply plead guilty, your child will lose their driver’s license for 30 days AND have it noted on their driving history (which will commonly increase your auto insurance.)
Because minors can be charged with purchasing and possessing alcohol, they can be charged with DUIs. CGS 14-227g states that, “Operation by person under twenty-one years of age while blood alcohol content exceeds two-hundredths of one percent” will result in a DUI for a minor.
Alcohol and Underage Parties
The law in Connecticut for underage drinking makes it illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to possess or consume alcohol anywhere in public or private places. So even if your child is drinking at a party on private property, they can still face the consequences of underage drinking. The first offense is an infraction resulting in a fine. There is a zero tolerance policy for minors in Connecticut when it comes to drinking.
Another big problem occurs when parents try to throw their child a party with alcohol. It might make sense to you to have your child and their friends drinking in a safe, controlled environment. But if you provide alcohol for minors and you get caught, you face criminal charges. You are not only risking the safety of the teenagers involved, but risking your own freedom by throwing an underage party. It is best to avoid this situation altogether.
Another common thing for minors to do is get a fake ID. It can be hard when you want to go to clubs and bars with your friends, but you are not 21. Even if kids just want to hang out with their friends and aren’t trying to drink, they should not buy fake IDs.
Having a fake ID is a felony charge in the state of Connecticut. Your child will face serious consequences, even if it seems like “everyone is doing it.” Talk to your child about the dangers of a fake ID.
Since 9/11 the prosecutors take Fake ID charges very seriously and we have see young people in court plead GUILTY and get a CRIMINAL RECORD for a simple fake ID they had to get into a bar!
If your child faces a drug or alcohol related charge, you should get them help as soon as possible. Contact our office to learn more during a free consultation.