CT. Drinking Law

 

Connecticut’s New Underage Drinking Law

FACT SHEET

On October 1, 2006 a new law will hit the books to toughen up CT’s stance on Underage Drinking.  This bill simply makes it illegal for minors to possess alcohol ANYWHERE whether it’s public or private property.  It also makes it clear that adults cannot continue to allow this behavior to take place and empowers them to halt such activity if they see it happening on their own property.

Why did we need this law?

Prior to this bill being enacted it was illegal for minors to possess alcohol on any street, highway, or place open to the public which excluded any private property areas.

It was also illegal for anyone to provide alcohol to a minor, however more often than not we are seeing people host house parties, or youth having “BYOB” parties where minors are consuming alcohol and no one is at fault for providing.

Are the police going to bust down my door?

This new law does not give the police the right to violate your constitutional rights.  Unfortunately police are already at a majority of these parties for other complaints (parking, noise, assaults) however, once they are there, they are at a loss because they cannot address the real problem, which is underage drinking.

What is the penalty?

The penalty for hosting a party, or allowing minors to consume alcohol is:

First offense: An infraction resulting in a fine ranging between $74-$136

Subsequent offenses: misdemeanor (a fine no more than $500, or imprisoned no more than 1 year, or both).

The penalty for minor possessing alcohol ANYWHERE:

First offense: An infraction resulting in a fine ranging between $74-$136

Subsequent offenses: A fine ranging between $200-$500

You can’t tell me what to do with my own kids:

Current law permits parents, legal guardians, or spouses over the age of 21 to provide alcohol to their own child, this law will not change that.  There is also an exemption for anyone observing religious services.

Final thought:

This new law sends a consistent message that underage drinking will not be tolerated, and both youth and adults will be held accountable for their role in allowing underage drinking to occur.  It also provides immediate reasonable consequences to the violators before a tragedy occurs