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My son was stopped and arrested for underage drinking. What can we expect in court?

Cleveland, OH |

He blew a 0.05. and was under the legal limit, however he won't be 21 for a week. We posted bail and now he has a court date Sept. 16 (two days after turning 21). What penalties can we expect to happen? Will his license be suspended? If so, how does he go about getting school and work privelages?

Attorney Answers 4


  1. Was your son charged only for underage drinking, or was he cited for OVI-UA also? The prohibited level for a person under 21 while operating a vehicle is 0.02 (in Ohio). If he was cited for OVI-UA, upon a conviction he is looking at a potential of up to 30 days in jail, up to $250.00 fine, Class 6 license suspension (90 days to 2 years), he can get driving privileges after 60 days, and a court may require restricted plates and/or interlock device. He may be able to get driving privileges during the pendency of the proceedings depending on the court.

    ~~~~~~~~~~ Patrick Leary is a licensed attorney in Ohio. Any answers provided by Mr. Leary in the Q&A Forum are intended to be informative, but should not be considered legal advice. Furthermore, answers provided herein do not establish an attorney-client relationship. Thank you.


  2. He's likely charged with "prohibitions" which is the general term for underage drinking. It's a misdemeanor of the first degree which carries a max of 180 days and appx $1000 fine and court costs along with probation. Most first time offenders are given a first offenders or SIP program. If he does not have any priors, this is a good avenue in which to proceed. If he has priors, then its a different ball game. I'd suggest you get your son OR your son get himself a lawyer.

    This response is not to be construed as legal advice. There is no agreement between the undersigned and the author of this post and therefore there is no attorney client relationship. There are facts of which the undersigned is presently unaware and therefore the analysis is only partial. The undersigned recommends retaining counsel as soon as possible.


  3. If only charged with underage consumption, the state will have a very difficult time convicting him as they won't be able to prove venue (what County he consumed the alcohol in). Of course this assumes your son didn't confess and describe where he had done his drinking. Contact a knowledgable Criminal Defense Attorney and all penalties may be able to be avoided.


  4. Drinking or was he drinking and driving?

    Assuming it was drinking and driving (since you posted in the DUI section), the limit in Ohio is 0.02.

    This is an M4 offense carrying up to 30 days in jail, up to $250 fine, optional drug/alch treatment, up to 2 year license suspension (90 day min.), driving privileges only after 60 days, optional DUI plates and interlock, but no forfeiture or immobilization of the vehicle.

    If these penalties are unreasonable/unacceptable, find an OVI attorney rather than a general practice attorney.

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