Underage Drinking Laws in Minnesota


Underage drinking can be a serious offense in Minnesota. Currently, the legal drinking age is 21. A person is considered legally drunk if their blood alcohol concentration is .08. Any person under the age of 21 caught drinking can be charged regardless of the legal BAC level. The consequences of being charged with underage drinking can vary, from fines to jail time.

If you are charged with underage drinking or driving while intoxicated, or if you are the parent of a child facing such charges, you should seek help from an experienced Minneapolis DWI lawyer as soon as you can.

Consequences of the Charges

Many underage drinking charges tend to be first-time offenses. If it is you or your child’s first offense, the result is a misdemeanor. Misdemeanors have much lighter consequences compared to felonies. There may be fines of around $1000, and you could face up to 90 days of jail time. License revocation is also a possible consequence of being convicted of these charges. You may also need to get your license back, which could result in passing a written driver’s test, and/or be supervised by another licensed driver for several months.

What is Vanessa’s Law

Vanessa’s law is a law named after a young girl who was killed in a drunk-driving accident in 2003. She was 15 years old at the time and was the passenger of a car involved in a drunk driving accident. Vanessa’s law targets juveniles who drink and drive, with unique penalties.

For persons under the age of 18 who are involved in an alcohol-related accident, they may not receive their learner’s permit again until they are at least 18 years old. The teen will then have to complete driver’s education and hold a learner’s permit for an additional three months. License reinstatement may occur after this, but this also comes with a fee of $680. Essentially, a juvenile charged under Vanessa’s Law has to redo the entire process of obtaining their license. Working with a Minneapolis DWI attorney can help guide you through these circumstances if the charges were not dismissed.

Why You Should Contact a Minnesota Underage Drinking Lawyer

You want your child to have the best chance at lowering the sentences. This can only be done if you hire an attorney who knows all of the nuances of the laws surrounding underage drinking in Minnesota. The juvenile court system is also a bit different, so working with an attorney who is experienced in this regard will be incredibly helpful.

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