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Alabama's "Minor in Possesion" statutes

Minor in Possession Statutes - Interestingly, there are two different "under 21" in possession of alcohol statutes contained in the Code of Alabama. The first statute, codified at 28-1-5, prohibits any person under the age of 21 "to purchase, consume, possess, or to transport" any alcohol or malt or brewed beverage. The statute imposes a fine of not less than $25 nor more than $100 upon conviction. A sentence of up to 30 days imprisonment may be imposed under this section, at the discretion of the court. There is no provision for suspension of driver license under this statute.

The second statute, codified at 28-3A-25, subsections (19) and (22), are more expansive in scope than 28-1-5. Subsection (19) prohibits any person under the age of 21 to "attempt to purchase, to purchase, consume, possess, or to transport any alcoholic beverage in this state." Subsection (22) makes it an unlawful act for any person under the age of 21 to "knowingly use or attempt to use a false, forged, deceptive, or otherwise nongenuine driver's license to obtain or attempt to obtain alcoholic beverages within this state." Violation of either subsection (19) or (22) specifies a fine of not less than $50 nor more than $500, authorizes a sentence of up to three months incarceration, and requires the Department of Public Safety to suspend the driver license of the individual for not less than 90 days and not more than 6 months. The suspension of driver license is a mandatory duty of the Department of Public Safety, and will be imposed without regard to treatment as a Youthful Offender or juvenile status.

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