Underage Alcohol Offenses in Kansas – What Parents and Young Adults Must Know

Underage drinking is not taken lightly in Kansas.  Whether you, or your son or daughter is charged with underage drinking and issued a citation, of being a Minor in Possession (MIP) or of Consumption of Alcohol by a Minor (MIC), or of Driving Under the Influence (DUI), you should take the charge very seriously.  All too often minors and young adults believe they can get away with underage drinking, especially college students who are eager to have fun and fit in.

In Kansas, individuals under the age of 21 who have been charged with any of the following underage alcohol offenses may be subject to severe consequences.

  • Issued with Citation for Underage Drinking
  • Minor in Possession (MIP) / Consumption of Alcohol by a Minor (MIC)
  • Driving Under the Influence (DUI)

If convicted of an underage alcohol offense, your driving privileges may be revoked or limited.  You may only be able to drive to school, work, important appointments, and may only be able to drive during particular hours.  You may also be subject to mandatory drug testing and alcohol treatment.  Even more, you may be responsible for hundreds of dollars in fines and possibly jail time.  As a young adult, you also may find it hard to obtain a job, receive a scholarship, or to seek recruitment by the military.  This can all happen even in the case where you are pulled over and an unopened container of alcohol is present in the car.  What if the alcohol isn’t yours?  It doesn’t matter under Kansas law.  This is why parents should be on alert that their son or daughter could be in trouble even if no alcohol was consumed.

But, the most serious of the underage drinking offenses listed above is a DUI.  While the legal limit for blood-alcohol content (BAC) in Kansas is .08 for individuals 21 and over, the limit is much lower if you are underage.  Many people do not realize that the law is often harsher for young adults.  If you are pulled over and found to have even a slight amount of detectable alcohol in your system, and under the age of 21, this is enough to be charged with a DUI.  Such a charge can lead to a conviction that leaves you with a permanent criminal record.

With so much on the line as a young adult, parents should discuss with their children the severity of the consequences discussed above.  Whether your child is college-bound or not, taking a huge risk just to have a good time at a college party isn’t worth the harsh penalties that Kansas imposes on many young offenders.  Don’t let an underage drinking charge lead you down the wrong path.  Young adults will make mistakes and learn from them, but making what may seem to be a small mistake by driving after just one drink at a party, or walking down the street with a beer in your hand is not worth the time, cost and emotional strain that can be a distraction from receiving an education or starting a career.

If you, or if your son or daughter has been charged with an underage alcohol offense, you should contact a qualified criminal defense attorney right away.  Charles E. Whitman of the Whitman Law Offices devotes himself to helping individuals between the ages of 18 and 21 who have been charged with underage alcohol offenses in Kansas.  With over 35 years of experience, Charles Whitman has the necessary qualifications to protect your rights and help you avoid potentially harsh consequences.  Contact our office for a free consultation.  You may call us at (785) 843-9460, or contact us online.  Our office is located in downtown Lawrence, not far from the University of Kansas (KU) and Baker University.  Contact us today and let us help you get your life back on track.

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