In Minnesota, the legal age to consume alcohol is 21. When alcohol and minors mix, any involved parties face the possibility of criminal charges and severe penalties.
Crimes Involving Alcohol & Minors
The following offenses concerning alcohol and minors are gross misdemeanors in Minnesota:
- Serving or giving alcohol to a minor. It is illegal for any person to sell, give, or provide the means to obtain alcohol to a person under 21 years of age. The law makes an exception for parents and guardians when they provide their child with alcohol for consumption within their own household.
- Providing the use of your ID to a minor for the purpose of obtaining alcohol. In addition to the criminal penalties, any person who lets another use their ID (state issued or other) to obtain alcohol is subject to have their license suspended for 90 days following conviction.
- Purchasing or attempting to purchase alcohol while under the age of 21.
Providing alcohol to minors is a serious offense in Minnesota. In the event that a minor uses false identification to purchase alcohol, the vendor has the authority to confiscate the ID and turn it into law enforcement.
Criminal & Civil Penalties
A gross misdemeanor is punishable by fines of up to $3,000. The law is such that additional civil penalties may be imposed in addition to any criminal punishment.
Minnesota also has Social Host Liability laws in place. These laws hold the host of a social gathering liable for the adults and minors to whom they have provided alcohol. Civil penalties vary, but the repercussions can be quite severe and may be imposed in addition to any applicable criminal penalties.
Minneapolis Criminal Attorney
It is extremely important to hire a Minneapolis defense attorney when facing any charges involving alcohol and minors. Our lawyers are available 24/7 and offer free initial consultations.