Alcohol Abuse and Criminal Charges Among 12 to 20-Year-Olds in CaliforniaSan Diego Legal News
The state of California has a larger population than any other state in the country with over 39 million residents. Nearly five million of those residents are reported as being between the ages of 12 and 20-years-old, which, unfortunately, increases the chances that numerous juveniles will find themselves in at least some form of legal trouble each and every year.
Near the top of the list of juvenile crimes in California is underage possession of alcoholic beverages. As of 2018, the rate of alcohol consumption by those between 12 and 20-years-old was reported at a monthly average of 20.7%, or 1,004,000 children and young adults, according to the California State Report on Underage Drinking Prevention and Enforcement.
Underage Drinking Across California
Of course, the underage possession of an alcoholic beverage is clearly prohibited throughout the state of California. Oddly enough, however, there are no specific laws prohibiting underage internal possession or consumption. Without promoting or condoning underage drinking in any way, it must be said that you have serious rights as a juvenile when facing a California minor in possession of alcohol (MIP) charge. First and foremost, the accused must have actually committed a crime so the accused must be sure to understand the exact charges against them.
Albeit, in most cases the offender has been arrested while in physical possession of alcohol, and the first thing to do during such a time should be to enter a state of reflection. It is extremely important to understand the effect that criminal charges in California may have on your future, not to mention the immense health risks of consuming alcohol at a young age. Those who partake in underage drinking are statistically far more likely to experience serious health problems, difficulty being employed, and teen pregnancies, than those who wait until they are 21.
Besides just the personal risks, it is perhaps even more important to understand the numbers when it comes to underage drinking, as well as intoxicated driving involving juveniles. Throughout 2018, alcohol-attributable deaths for those under 21-years-old were reported at 503. Of those fatalities, 125 of them were the result of an intoxicated driver between 15 and 20-years-old, making up 26% of all fatal car accidents involving a driver in that age range. Altogether, it is a primary importance for young people to make their best decisions at all times. Of course, being young is filled with many pressures and difficulties, and mistakes are a common part of life.
Everyone, particularly teenagers and young adults, often makes honest mistakes on a near-daily basis. The poor choice to join the crowd and engage in underage drinking must be addressed, but should not necessarily follow you around for years to come. After being charged with MIP in California, the most important first step is to obtain a compassionate and knowledgeable California criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
California Criminal Defense Attorney for MIP
At Coastal Legal Center, we are dedicated to representing otherwise good people who may have been charged with a crime. We believe that no mistake, especially one made as a child, should send you down the dark and prolonged path into a long and complicated criminal justice system. If you have been charged with minor in possession of alcohol in California, please don’t hesitate to call 619-231-0724 and schedule a free consultation today.