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Under 21

NC Laws

North Carolina General Statue 18B-302, makes it a criminal offense to aid, abet, sell or give alcoholic beverages to anyone under the age of 21.  Attempting to purchase alcohol under the age of 21 or by using a fake or altered identification document is a criminal offense. 

If you are 21 years old or over, you could be held responsible in civil court, under the DRAM SHOP laws, if underage persons are allowed to consume alcohol while under your supervision and/or provide, facilitate or aid underage persons in consuming alcohol resulting in death or serious injury.  North Carolina laws allow damages up to $500,000.00 per occurrence.

Penalties
G.S. 18B-302 (a) Selling or Giving Alcohol to Persons Under 21
            A violation of the statute is a Class 1 Misdemeanor.  Conviction under this statute requires a mandatory fine of $250.00 and 25 hours of community service.  A second conviction of this statute carries a mandatory fine of $500 and 150 hours of community service.

G.S. 18B-302 (b) Purchase or Possession of alcohol by persons less than 21 years old
            A violation of the statute is a Class 1Misdemeanor

G.S. 18B-302 (c)(2) Aiding or Abetting Persons Under 21 in Possessing or Purchasing Alcohol
            A violation of the statute is a Class 1 Misdemeanor.  Conviction under this statute requires a mandatory fine of $500 and 25 hours of community service.   A second conviction of this statute carries a mandatory fine of $1000 and 150 hours of community service.

Did You Know?
According to North Carolina Department of Transportation

  • There are over 6 million licensed drivers in the State of North Carolina.
  • 23% of fatal crashes and 23% of persons killed were determined to be alcohol related by comparing the law enforcement reports and the Medical Examiner's Report (BAC) for sobriety.
  • “Speeding” was the leading violation in fatal crashes.
  • One person killed or injured in alcohol related crashes every 52.6 minutes.
  • One driver age 19 or under involved in a crash every 11.5 minutes.
  • 25% of the pedestrian fatalities were killed while walking in crosswalks.
  • In 2004, there were 11,489 alcohol related crashes.  Of those, 6,240 resulted in an injury and 361 resulted in a fatality.

Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) is against North Carolina traffic laws.  Driving records are a primary means of tracking the problem of hardcore drivers; the Habitual impaired driver with 4th and subsequent offenses within 7 years and the Felony DWI with 4th and subsequent offenses.  Enforcement techniques used to detect and apprehend drunk drivers include:  sobriety checkpoints, blanket patrols, publicized campaigns, standardized field and sobriety testing. 

  • DWI of an impairing substance (first offense) = 1 year driving suspension
  • DWI of an impairing substance (second offense) = 4 years driving suspension
  • DWI of an impairing substance (third offense) = Permanent driving suspension

Drinking alcoholic beverages under the age of 21 years old is against the law.

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