Terri Daniel, Attorney at Law, PLLCTerri DanielAttorney at Law, PLLC

Minors and alcohol: The rules and exceptions

It's easy to think that your child doesn't have any kind of problem that would lead to issues with the law. They're just experimenting or acting out because of their age, you might think. However, you should know that children can end up in trouble, and they can break the law in ways that result in charges against them.

One of the more common issues that parents deal with is underage drinking. This is really common when kids reach 19 and 20, because their friends may finally be 21 and able to buy drinks legally. Of course, the flip-side is also true. A 21-year-old person can easily get into trouble with the law if they provide drinks to younger individuals.

When can a minor drink alcohol in Texas?

You've probably heard that minors are allowed to drink alcohol so long as they are with their parents. The actual rule is that minors are able to drink if they are with a spouse or parent and guardian, regardless of age. They must be in the visible presence of the spouse, guardian or parent at the time.

What happens if someone buys alcohol for a minor?

Furnishing alcohol to a minor is illegal except for when the alcohol is purchased by their spouse or a guardian, or parent. That means that if you're 21 and aren't related to the minor, you should never give them alcohol or buy it for them. If you're under 21, you shouldn't be accepting alcohol from anyone but a spouse, parent or guardian.

When can a minor be in possession of alcohol?

In addition to the situations above, there is an exception for youth who buy alcohol for law-enforcement purposes. They may possess alcohol. They can also possess alcohol if they are serving it as a bartender or server at the age of 18.

As you can see, there are plenty of exceptions to the rule of avoiding drinking or possessing alcohol underage, but if your child goes out and drinks without a spouse, parent or guardian who is of age, then they could face trouble. Underage drinking charges can have an impact on a minor's life, so it's important to take steps to defend your child if they have been accused. The same is true if your child is accused of furnishing alcohol to people who are not yet 21, since they could face charges for doing so.

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Terri Daniel, Attorney at Law, PLLC
6675 Mediterranean Dr, Suite 407
McKinney, TX 75072

Phone: (469) 519-2739
Fax: (877) 291-1215
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