If you knowingly supply alcohol to anyone under the legal age of 21, you are in violation of the laws spelled out in Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 138, Section 34. These laws are strictly enforced in the city of Boston as well as in the entire state. During the summer and around the holidays there is an increase of cases involving adults supplying alcohol to minors. From graduation parties to family gatherings, law enforcement is on the lookout for underage drinking.
The state of Massachusetts employs harsh punishments for adults who supply alcohol to minors, and it is considered a serious crime. If you are arrested for furnishing alcohol to minors, you must contact a criminal defense attorney right away.
Understanding the Law
The law clearly states that anyone furnishing alcohol to an individual under the age of 21 shall be punished by a fine of no more than $2,000 or by one year imprisonment or a combination of both. To be found guilty of “supplying” alcohol to a minor, prosecutors must prove that you knowingly or intentionally supplied, gave or provided liquor to a person that you knew was under 21 years of age.
More often than not, parents are charged with this crime, because they assume that it is okay to supply alcohol to underage drinkers as long as they are in their home. Parents will rationalize this by assuming that their kids will drink anyway, and by supplying it and keeping them at home, they are keeping them safe. While the intentions are clearly good, it is still against the law and parents who are caught doing this will be charged with a crime.
Proving the Case
In order for prosecutors to successfully charge you with furnishing alcohol to a minor, they will need to prove one of several items:
- Supply – This means you knowingly supplied liquor to a minor.
- Act – This constitutes the act of supplying. For example, you could have not restricted access to alcoholic beverages or you placed a drink near an under aged individual knowing they would drink it. These acts constitute furnishing alcohol to a minor.
- Intent – Prosecutors must prove that you also intended for the minor to drink alcohol. You intended to give them alcohol or the actions you took intended to help the individual acquire alcohol – such as purchasing alcohol for a minor.
Avoid Harsh Penalties – Contact Keegan Law
Supplying alcohol to a minor is a very serious crime. Not only could you face a fine and up to one year in jail, but you will also have a criminal record (if convicted). You could also incur heavy court costs and end up on probation. If you own a business and you are convicted of supplying alcohol to minors, you could pay administrative fees for your violations and may lose your state liquor license or even be forced to close your business.
To avoid the harsh penalties of this crime, contact Keegan Law. We will aggressively protect your rights and defend you against these charges. Contact us online or call (617) 799-7644 to schedule a free case evaluation.