How severe is a charge of Underage Drinking and what are the penalties?
In Pennsylvania, the charge of Underage Drinking, 18 Pa.C.S.A 6308, is classified as a non-traffic summary offense. While a summary offense is not as severe as a felony or misdemeanor charge, a conviction of Underage Drinking could result in a period of incarceration, a hefty fine, and will result in a suspension of Pennsylvania driving privileges. For the first offense of Underage Drinking, the maximum sentence is 90 days of incarceration, a $500.00 fine, and a 90-day suspension of Pennsylvania driving privileges. For subsequent offenses of Underage Drinking, the maximum fine permitted by law increases to $1,000.00, and the suspension increases to 1 year for a second offense and 2 years for third and subsequent offenses. While a sentence of incarceration is possible for this offense, such a punishment is rarely imposed.
If a person is convicted of Underage Drinking, the Pennsylvania license suspension is mandatory and there is no way to reduce or avoid the suspensions. The only way to avoid the suspension is to avoid the conviction. A person facing a 90-day suspension for a first offense of Pennsylvania Underage Drinking may be eligible to receive an Occupational Limited License (OLL), but a subsequent offender of Underage Drinking is not eligible.