There are several crimes in Ohio specifically dealing with alcohol and being under the age of 21. There are also alcohol related crimes that underage persons are commonly charged with even though age is not a factor. Unfortunately, these charges can have a lasting impact on their future.
With Columbus being home to one of the largest college campuses in the country and over 15 other public and private institutions, underage alcohol violations frequently occur. There are not only penalties under Ohio law, but many high schools and colleges are also enforcing their own sanctions. Charges or convictions can result in the denial of acceptance in to a school or program, suspension, and even expulsion. Additionally, having an underage alcohol charge on a person’s record could cause problems with future employment opportunities.
If a person is under 21, ordering alcohol, paying for alcohol, sharing in the cost of alcohol, purchasing or attempting to purchase alcohol, possessing alcohol, consuming alcohol, being under the influence of alcohol in public, using false information to obtain alcohol, using a fake ID to obtain alcohol, and driving under the influence of alcohol are misdemeanors of the first degree. Giving or selling alcohol to an underage person is also a misdemeanor of the first degree. The possible penalties include up to 6 months in jail, up to $1000 fine, court costs, driver’s license suspension, probation, community service, alcohol assessment, and recommended treatment.
Consumption of alcohol in a motor vehicle is a misdemeanor of the fourth degree. The possible penalties include up to 30 in jail, up to $250 fine, court costs, probation, community service, alcohol assessment, and recommended treatment.
Open container and disorderly conduct are generally minor misdemeanors. The possible penalties include up to $150 fine, court costs, and community service.
A license suspension ranging from 6 months to 1 year is a penalty for some of the above listed alcohol violations if the person is under 18 years of age and is the operator or passenger in a motor vehicle at the time of the offense.