For many young people, turning 21 means being able to legally purchase alcohol for the first time. However, sometimes individuals do not wait until the age of 21 to buy it; sometimes they do so illegally. While it is illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to purchase alcohol in any state, the laws pertaining to alcohol and their accompanying penalties are different in each state. So what is there to know about “furnishing” (giving or providing) alcohol to a minor under Texas’ Alcoholic Beverage Code?
When Can Someone Legally Purchase Alcohol for a Minor?
Per Sec. 106.06(a), “a person commits an offense if he purchases an alcoholic beverage for or gives or makes available an alcoholic beverage to a minor with criminal negligence.” So, when can someone legally purchase or provide alcohol to a minor? In certain situations, a person can legally do so if the person is:
- The adult mother or father of the minor;
- The adult legal guardian of the minor;
- The adult spouse of the minor;
- The court-granted adult custodian of the minor; and
- Present when the minor possesses and drinks the alcohol.
Anyone who purchases alcohol for a minor or furnishes it to a minor for whom he or she is not the parent, legal guardian, or court-ordered custodian, he or she has committed a Class A misdemeanor, which is punishable by a fine of up to $4,000 and up to one year in jail.
However, it’s important to note that regardless of his or her relation to the minor, if an adult furnishes alcohol to a minor at a gathering where there is binge drinking or where people are forcing or coercing people to engage in drinking alcohol, that person will be required to complete 20 – 40 hours of community service and must participate in an alcohol education program.
When Would it Ever be Okay to Supply a Minor with Alcohol?
Under Texas law, a minor can legally consume alcohol if he or she has obtained parental consent. This includes if he or she is on private non-alcohol selling premises or on alcohol-selling premises.
The Attorneys at Ceja Law Firm Help Those in Houston Who Have Been Charged with a Crime
When you have been charged with a crime, such as furnishing alcohol to a minor, it can be a very scary and overwhelming time. You may have no idea as to how you should proceed or what you should do. That’s why it’s in your best interest to consult with a knowledgeable and experienced Houston criminal defense attorney who will fight for you to mitigate or eliminate the charges against you.
At Ceja Law Firm PLLC, we understand the serious nature of a criminal charge. That’s why we will work to help you obtain the best possible outcome. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, contact us today!