If you have been accused of underage drinking, please call me for a free consultation. I have practiced criminal defense my entire career, teach criminal law at the IU School of Law, and have personally handled thousands of cases.  Additional information about my office is available on the home page and the in the news page.

IC § 7.1-5-7-7. Illegal possession of alcohol by minor.

(a) Subject to IC 7.1-5-1-6.5, it is a Class C misdemeanor for a minor to knowingly:

(1) possess an alcoholic beverage;

(2) consume an alcoholic beverage; or

(3) transport an alcoholic beverage on a public highway when not accompanied by at least one (1) of the minor’s parents or guardians.

(b) If a minor is found to have violated subsection (a)(2) or (a)(3) while operating a vehicle, the court may order the minor’s driving privileges suspended for up to one (1) year. However, if the minor is less than eighteen (18) years of age, the court shall order the minor’s driving privileges suspended for at least sixty (60) days.

(c) The court shall deliver any order suspending a minor’s driving privileges under this section to the bureau of motor vehicles, which shall suspend the minor’s driving privileges under IC 9-24-18-12.2 for the period ordered by the court.

Case Law

– There was sufficient evidence that the beer defendant consumed contained at least .5% alcohol by volume where there was sufficient circumstantial evidence establishing that the beverage defendant drank was an alcoholic beverage, there was overwhelming evidence that defendant was in a state of intoxication, the portable breath test defendant was given revealed a positive result, and defendant admitted that he had consumed four beers. Turner v. State, 749 N.E.2d 1205 (Ind. Ct. App. 2001).

– Evidence that defendant passenger in van was 18 years old, that he had alcohol on his breath, and that two empty beer bottles were found in close proximity to him in van was sufficient to support convictions for both illegal possession of alcohol and illegal consumption of alcohol; however, since identical evidence was used to convict defendant on both charges, double jeopardy principles required reversal of illegal possession charge. Lawson v. State, 803 N.E.2d 237 (Ind. Ct. App. 2004).

– Where defendant’s identification card revealed that he was under 21 and officer smelled alcohol on defendant’s breath, officer had probable cause to arrest defendant for illegal possession of alcohol. Johnson v. State, 829 N.E.2d 44 (Ind. Ct. App. 2005).

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