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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
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    2

    Default Letting Underage People Drink

    My question involves criminal law for the state of: Ohio
    Last night, my partner and I had some friends over. A couple of them we knew were under 21, but one friend said he was 21 (but turns out he wasn't). When he got extremely drunk, we had tried to get him outside from puking everywhere in the house and someone driving by called the cops thinking they saw a fight taking place (which wasn't, the guy was just a really wobbly drunk - lost his equilibrium really easy when drunk from what we could tell). The cops came and arrested the 3 underage people for underage drinking and said they would be back to officially cite us for basically providing to a minor. We know we're not innocent, but we were wondering what exactly we could be facing for this and if they would be charging both of us (the way it sounded, I think both of us are getting a charge for it).
    I believe the statue is ORC 4301.69. I tried reading into it but I got lost at it.
    Thanks for your help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    19,670

    Default Re: Letting Underage People Drink

    You can get up to six months in jail and up to $1000 in fines (plus costs). If they cite you for section (A) of that it will be no LESS than $500.
    You should not speak to the police without an attorney, if charges are brought (you get cited), then you need to consult with a lawyer on how to proceed.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    17,924

    Default Re: Letting Underage People Drink

    Quote Quoting p0tt34
    View Post
    We know we're not innocent, but we were wondering what exactly we could be facing for this and if they would be charging both of us (the way it sounded, I think both of us are getting a charge for it).
    You just couldn't have a party without booze? Booze and stupidity are inseparable.

    Quote Quoting p0tt34
    View Post
    We know we're not innocent, but we were wondering what exactly we could be facing for this and if they would be charging both of us (the way it sounded, I think both of us are getting a charge for it).
    I believe the statue is ORC 4301.69.
    You might get charged with either A or B.

    (A) Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, no person sell beer or intoxicating liquor to an underage person, shall buy beer or intoxicating liquor for an underage person, or shall furnish it to an underage person, unless given by a physician in the regular line of the physician's practice or given for established religious purposes or unless the underage person is supervised by a parent, spouse who is not an underage person, or legal guardian.

    (B) No person who is the owner or occupant of any public or private place shall knowingly allow any underage person to remain in or on the place while possessing or consuming beer or intoxicating liquor, unless the intoxicating liquor or beer is given to the person possessing or consuming it by that person's parent, spouse who is not an underage person, or legal guardian and the parent, spouse who is not an underage person, or legal guardian is present at the time of the person's possession or consumption of the beer or intoxicating liquor.

    I've emphasized the critical words of both.

    4309.99 Penalty

    (C) Whoever violates ... division (B) ... of section 4301.69 ... of section 4301.691 of the Revised Code is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree.

    (I) Whoever violates division (A) of section 4301.69 ... of the Revised Code is guilty of a misdemeanor, shall be fined not less than five hundred and not more than one thousand dollars, and, in addition to the fine, may be imprisoned for a definite term of not more than six months.

    The penalty for (C) is the same as the penalty for (I).

    I agree with flyingron. If you are charged, DO NOT talk to anybody but a lawyer. A misdemeanor conviction gives you a CRIMINAL record.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Letting Underage People Drink

    Thanks for the info. We have a family lawyer that we may be able to get in touch with just in case they go forward with charging us.

    We are aware though that parties do not require alcohol. Thanks for that point, haha.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    6,888

    Default Re: Letting Underage People Drink

    Family lawyers are not necessarily criminal lawyers. Remember that if you are charged.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Posts
    26

    Default Re: Letting Underage People Drink

    This is true. I have a commercial law lawyer as a roommate. He knows little about criminal law, but he thinks he does. I've seen my state change its laws often, yet he thinks they only change them when they meet once a year. He also does not realize that each state has its own definition of certain offenses, since he learned in law school what the definitions should be. One thing he did say though was that lawyers will take 2 plus 2 and make it equal whatever you want if you pay them enough.

    As for the penalty for underage drinking, it is serious. I think it is absurd that they include jail time, unless something bad happens in addition to someone getting drunk. The fines sound fair. A couple weekends in jail sounds fair. Six months is just absurd. But they are very serious. Probably it is for people who don't take the plea bargain. My younger neighbors got caught drinking and were forced to take classes that cost $600. I doubt most students have $600. They should have been ordered to do 40 hours of community service instead. What I think should'a does not matter. The point is they take this stuff seriously.

    You should also try to find out what the typical penalties are. There is a chance you can plea bargain this one and just pay the fine. Very likely that is what will happen. If the drinker pays $500, most likely the supplier pays $1000. But don't talk to them right away. If you confess before they offer deal, you have no leverage and they can throw the book at you.

    I am not a lawyer. I'm just a guy who's seen a few of these things pan out. Not much for me to go on, especially not in your state.

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