Written by attorney Mark L. Stevens

Underage Drinking in New Hampshire

"Minor in Possession" of alcohol laws in New Hampshire. If you have been charged or accused of "minor in possession of alcohol", "underage drinking" "unlawful intoxication" or any other charges under New Hampshire's tough "unlawful intoxication" statute, RSA 179:10, the potential consequences are serious, including a drivers license revocation if you are found guilty in Court. This video explains some of the consequences.

Here is the current state of New Hampshire’s “minor in possession of alcohol" and “unlawful intoxication by a minor" law:

RSA 179:10 (2011) 179:10 Unlawful Possession and Intoxication. I. Except as provided in RSA 179:23, any person under the age of 21 years who has in his or her possession any liquor or alcoholic beverage, or who is intoxicated by consumption of an alcoholic beverage, shall be guilty of a violation and shall be fined a minimum of $300. Any second and subsequent offense shall be fined at least $600. For purposes of this section, alcohol concentration as defined in RSA 259:3-b of .02 or more shall be prima facie evidence of intoxication. No portion of this mandatory minimum fine shall be waived, continued for sentencing, or suspended by the court. In addition to the penalties provided in this section, the court may, in its discretion, impose further penalties authorized by RSA 263:56-b. II. Except for persons convicted on the basis of intoxication, any person under the age of 21 years convicted of unlawful possession of liquor or beverage shall forfeit the same, and it shall be disposed of as the court directs. The proceeds, if any, shall be paid into the treasury of the county in which the proceedings were determined.

If you find yourself charged with this crime in New Hampshire feel free to call the Law Offices of Mark Stevens today for a free consultation at 1-603-893-0074, and feel free to visit our main web site

Additional resources provided by the author

Beware of this New Hampshire Law during Prom and Graduation Season: "Facilitating a Drug or Underage Alcohol House Party". This is an important New Hampshire law to be aware of during prom and graduation season. This applies to people prosecuted for hosting drug or underage drinking parties. It is important not to get caught in this net. Here is the language of the law: RSA 644:18 (2011) 644:18 Facilitating a Drug or Underage Alcohol House Party. I. A person shall be guilty of a misdemeanor if such person owns or has control of the occupied structure, dwelling, or curtilage, where a drug or underage alcohol house party is held and such person knowingly commits an overt act in furtherance of the occurrence of the drug or underage alcohol house party knowing persons under the age of 21 possess or intend to consume alcoholic beverages or use controlled drugs at such drug or underage alcohol house party. II. It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under this section if a person gives timely notice to a law enforcement official of the occurrence of the drug or underage alcohol house party or engages in other conduct designed to prevent the occurrence of such party, or takes action to terminate such party once underway. III. In this section, “drug or underage alcohol house party” means a gathering of 5 or more people under the age of 21 at any occupied structure, dwelling, or curtilage, who are unrelated to the person who owns such occupied structure, dwelling, or curtilage or has control thereof, where at least one person under the age of 21 unlawfully possesses or consumes an alcoholic beverage or controlled drug. “Occupied structure” has the same meaning as in RSA 635:1, and “dwelling” and “curtilage” have the same meaning as in RSA 627:9. IV. The provisions of this section shall not apply to the use of alcoholic beverages at legally protected religious observances or activities, or to those persons using a controlled drug under a physician’s care where the use of the drug is consistent with the directions of a physician.

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