Bristol Transportation of Alcohol by Minor Charge Dismissed

In October of 2010, our Client was charged by the Bristol Police Department with transportation of alcohol by a minor in violation of R.I.G.L. 3-8-9.  Transportation of alcohol by a minor is defined as, "any person who has not reached his or her twenty-first (21st) birthday and who operates a motor vehicle upon the public highways, except when accompanied by a parent, legal guardian, or another adult who is over the age of twenty-one (21) years and related, whether by blood, adoption or marriage, to the operator within the following degree of sanguinity: brother, sister, grandfather, grandmother, father-in-law, mother-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, stepfather, stepmother, stepbrother, stepsister, half-brother, half-sister, uncle, aunt, great uncle or great aunt and, knowingly having liquor or intoxicating beverages in any form in containers, opened or unopened, in any part of the vehicle shall be guilty of a criminal violation. The words liquor and intoxicating beverages, as used in this section, have the same meaning as defined in chapter 1 of this title. This section does not apply to persons between the ages of sixteen (16) and twenty-one (21) who are transporting unopened alcoholic beverages in the course of their employment."

If a person charged with transportation of alcohol by a minor is convicted, the penalties include:

 (1) For a first offense, a fine of not more than two hundred fifty dollars ($250) and have his or her license to operate a motor vehicle suspended for not more than thirty (30) days;

   (2) For a second offense, a fine of not more than five hundred dollars ($500) and have his or her license to operate a motor vehicle suspended for not more than ninety (90) days;

   (3) For a third or subsequent offense, a fine of no less than five hundred dollars ($500) nor more than nine hundred and fifty dollars ($950) and have his or her license to operate a motor vehicle suspended for one year.

The incident which gave rise to the charge against our Client was an unlawful stop by the Bristol Police.  The Bristol Police Officer observed an individual exiting a liquor store with alcohol.  That individual then got into our Client's car and our Client drove away.  The Bristol Police observed our Client and believed him to be younger than twenty-one (21) years old.  The Bristol Police then followed the vehicle and initiated a traffic stop without observing any evidence of a motor vehicle violation, erratic driving or criminal activity.  The purchaser of the beer was twenty-one (21) years old.

In December of 2010, the alcohol offense of transportation of alcohol by a minor pending against our Client was dismissed based on our argument that the Bristol Police did not have reasonable suspicion to stop our Client's vehicle.  This successful disposition allows our client to maintain his clean criminal record, to avoid disciplinary proceedings at his college and to avoid any license suspension.

If you or a family member has been charged with underage drinking or an alcohol related offense, such as transportation of alcohol by a minor, please allowAttorney Robert H. Humphrey's reputation, experience and skill to successfully guide you through the legal process.  Please contact Attorney Robert H. Humphrey, Esq., at 401-816-5862 or e-mail him at 

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