Alcohol Offenses and Minors

Minors under age 21 face enhanced penalties for DWI offenses.

Our firm is here to help make sure you or your loved one's life is not unjustly derailed at such a young age. Let's examine non-DWI New Hampshire alcohol laws which are directed at minors.

NH RSA 179:10 - Unlawful Possession of and Intoxication by Alcohol

This law prohibits minors under age 21 from possessing alcohol or being intoxicated by alcohol. Below is a list of mandatory minimum penalties and discretionary penalties for those convicted.

First Offense Mandatory Minimum Penalty

$300 fine plus penalty assessment ($72)

First Offense Driver's License Loss

90 days up to 1 year.

Subsequent Offense Mandatory Minimum Penalty

$600 fine plus penalty assessment ($144)

Subsequent Offense License Loss

6 months up to 2 years

What if the police officer arrested or cited me or my loved one for "internal possession" and that person did not possess any alcohol on their person?

The prosecutor must prove the minor was intoxicated if they pursue this variant of NH RSA 179:10. In essence, the State must prove the person under 21 would have been guilty of over-21 DWI to convict. This differs greatly from DWIs for those under 21 where one is prima facie guilty if the State proves a .02 or higher breath or blood result beyond a reasonable doubt.

NH RSA 265-A:45 - Transportation of Alcohol by Minor by Vehicle or Boat

A minor convicted of transporting alcohol by vehicle faces a 60 day suspension of their driver's license or privilege to drive and a minor boater faces a 90 day suspension of the same privileges (including driving a vehicle).

Contact Reis & O'Keefe, PLLC to discuss alcohol offenses for minors

Contact the defense attorneys Reis & O'Keefe, PLLC for a free consultation if you or a loved one faces the court and collateral consequences of an alcohol-related offense. We know that colleges, the military, law enforcement, college athletic teams, have consequences now and in the future for such offenses and we are happy to help.

About Our Team

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Kevin O'Keefe has represented thousands of clients in all areas of criminal law. Before establishing Reis & O'Keefe, Kevin was an attorney with the New Hampshire Public Defender.
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James B. Reis's Profile Image
James Reis started out at the New Hampshire Public Defender in 2000. Throughout the years, Jim has steadfastly protected the rights of nearly four thousand clients.
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Investigator and paralegal Lisa Greenwaldt has worked tirelessly for the last 23 years in indigent criminal defense at both the New Hampshire Public Defender (NHPD) and with the Conflict Case Administration (CCA). She is intimately familiar with the…
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