How can I be charged with Furnishing Alcohol to Minors when I am underage myself?
Some people believe that an underage person cannot be charged with furnishing alcohol to a minor because the underage person is not lawfully permitted to possess the alcohol. Years ago, this precise argument was made by a Centre County defense attorney, and this arguments was rejected by the Superior Court of Pennsylvania in the case of Commonwealth v. Lawson. The charge of Furnishing Alcohol to a Minor, found in Pennsylvania law at 18 Pa.C.S. 6310.1, states that a “person commits a misdemeanor of the third degree if he intentionally and knowingly sells or intentionally and knowingly furnishes, or purchases with the intent to sell or furnish, any liquor or malt or brewed beverages to a person who is less than 21 years of age.” In ruling against the defendant in the case, the Superior Court noted that the Furnishing Alcohol to Minor law prohibited a “person” from providing alcohol to a minor. The statute did not state that only someone over the age of 21 was prohibited from furnishing alcohol but instead used the very broad term of person. Because a minor is a “person,” then a minor could be charged with furnishing alcohol to another minor.