As reported by Donita Naylor in the March 15, 2012 edition of the Providence Journal, Barrington Police have arrested and charged several high school students with various crimes, including underage alcohol offenses. The teenagers alleged broke into an uninhabited home and had a party. Police estimated that approximately fifty (50) people attended the party, which led to arrests for underage possession of alcohol, vandalism and one adult was charged with providing alcohol to minors.
Pursuant to Rhode Island General Laws 3-8-10, possession of alcohol by minors is defined as any person who has not reached his or her twenty-first (21st) birthday and has in his or her possession any beverage as defined in this title shall be fined one hundred fifty dollars ($150) to seven hundred fifty dollars ($750) for the first offense, three hundred dollars ($300) to seven hundred fifty dollars ($750) for the second offense, and four hundred fifty dollars ($450) to nine hundred fifty dollars ($950) for the third or subsequent offense. In addition, any person who violates this section shall be required to perform thirty (30) hours of community service and shall be subject to a minimum sixty (60) day suspension of his or her driver's license, and upon a second offense may be ordered to undergo a substance abuse assessment by a licensed substance abuse professional.
Pursuant to R.I.G.L. 3-8-11.1, providing alcohol to minors is defined as:
(a) As used in this section: (1) "furnish" means to provide with, supply, give or purchase; (2) "procure" means to get possession of, obtain by particular care and effort; and (3) "permit" means to give permission for, or approval of, the possession or consumption of an alcoholic beverage by any form of conduct, that would cause a reasonable person to believe that permission or approval has been given.
(b) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (d) of this section it is unlawful for any person twenty-one (21) years of age or older:
(1) to purchase from any licensee or any employee of a licensee any alcoholic beverage for the sale, delivery, service of or giving away to, any person who has not reached his or her twenty-first (21st) birthday;
(2) to purchase from any licensee or any employee of any licensee any alcoholic beverage with the intent to cause or permit said alcoholic beverage to be sold, or given to any person who has not reached his or her twenty-first (21st) birthday;
(3) to knowingly furnish any alcoholic beverage for the sale, delivery, service of or giving to any person who has not reached his or her twenty-first (21st) birthday;
(4) to procure alcoholic beverages for the sale, delivery, service of or giving to any person who has not reached his or her twenty-first (21st) birthday; or
(5) to otherwise permit the consumption of alcohol by underaged persons in his or her residence or on his or her real property.
(c) Any person, between the ages of eighteen (18) and twenty-one (21) years of age, who violates subsection (b) herein, may, upon conviction, be subject to a civil penalty of not more than five hundred dollars ($500). In addition, any person convicted may be required to attend an educational program approved by the department of health designed to recognize the dangers of underaged drinking, and may be subject to up to thirty (30) hours of community service.
(d) This section does not apply to use, consumption or possession of alcoholic beverages by a minor for religious purposes; or to a parent or legal guardian procuring or furnishing alcohol to, or permitting the consumption of alcohol by, his or her minor child or ward.
Providing alcohol to minors is a more serious charge and can include jail time. The penalties include a fine of not less than three hundred fifty dollars ($350.00) nor more than one thousand dollars ($1,000.00) and/or imprisoned for a period not exceeding six (6) months, or both.
If your or a family member have been charged with a providing alcohol to minors, underage possession of alcohol or other alcohol offenses, please allow Attorney Robert H. Humphrey's reputation, experience and skill to successfully guide you through the legal process. Contact Robert H. Humphrey, Esq., at 401-816-5862 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.