What Are the Legal Risks of Underage Drinking in Columbia, SC? | 1.24.2022

The minimum legal drinking age is 21 across the United States; however, every state enforces the legal alcohol limit differently. While some states have exceptions that allow underage consumption in specific circumstances, others do not. It’s critical to know the legal ramifications in the state where you live, go to school, and visit. Familiarizing yourself with the laws in place, especially if you go to college and choose to partake in underage drinking, can help you protect your rights and your future.

SC Minor in Possession Laws

South Carolina law prohibits anyone under 21 years of age from possessing, consuming, or attempting to purchase alcohol. When a minor breaks these laws, they can be charged with a Minor in Possession, or MIP. MIP consequences depend on the specific violation. A MIP can result in a fine between $100 and $200, driver’s license suspensions, university sanctions, a criminal record, and jail time for up to 30 days. The minor may also be required to complete a Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services-approved alcohol prevention education program. If this is not the first time the minor is facing criminal charges, the minor may be charged higher fines or additional jail time.

To learn more about MIP charges in South Carolina, hire an attorney to help you with the legal process, or to get a MIP charge expunged off your record, contact our team today by calling (803) 888-2200.

SC Fake ID Laws

Oftentimes minor in possession charges are accompanied by fake ID charges. This happens when a person attempts to purchase alcohol or enters a 21+ establishment with a fake identification card. If you are charged with a fake ID in South Carolina, some of the legal consequences may include fines, license suspensions, 30 days of jail time, and more. If you’re battling a fake ID charge in South Carolina, an experienced criminal defense attorney can easily help you navigate the charge, negotiate the penalties, and help get it expunged off your record.

A Columbia fake ID charge doesn’t have to ruin your future. We can help you get through this. Simply call (803) 888-2200 or fill out our online contact form to schedule your free consultation and get started.

SC Underage DUI Laws

In addition to MIP and fake ID charges, underage drinking could lead to an underage DUI if the minor is caught driving with alcohol in their system. If someone under the age of 21 has a blood alcohol concentration of .02 or greater while driving in South Carolina, they can be charged with an underage DUI. If the driver’s BAC is over .08, they could be charged with a standard DUI even if they are underage.

Possible legal ramifications for underage drinking and driving in South Carolina include suspension of driver’s license, jail time, enrollment in an Alcohol and Drug Safety Action Program, a criminal record, and more. If you or your child has been charged with an underage DUI in Columbia or anywhere in South Carolina, an experienced criminal defense attorney can limit the effect this has on their future. To speak with an attorney for free and get a better understanding of the legal process, consequences, and specifics of your case, call (803) 888-2200 or fill out our online form and we will be in touch with you as soon as possible.

How a Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help

If you or your child was charged with a minor in possession (MIP), fake ID, or an underage DUI, it’s in your best interest to contact a criminal defense attorney right away. These charges can be listed on a criminal record and in turn, impact your reputation and future opportunities. The team at Cavanaugh & Thickens believes one mistake shouldn’t define your future. We can help you get these charges reduced, dropped, or even expunged off your criminal record.

Contact our award-winning criminal defense team today to see how we can help you based on the specifics of your case.

Author: Steve Krzyston

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Disclaimer: The opinions and ideas in this article are for informational purposes only and are not intended as legal advice. Each case is different and must be evaluated based on its own particular facts and merits.

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