Need Evidence of Date of Birth to Prove Under 21
The client, who admittedly had a bit too much to drink, ran into the yard of a State College resident and kicked a tree. Seeing the odd behavior, a State College police officer stopped the client to question him about the unexplained behavior. The officer’s questioning led him to discover that the client was under 21 and had been drinking, so the officer issued a summary citation for Underage Drinking in violation of 18 Pa.C.S.A. 6308. This was the client’s second offense of consumption of alcohol by a minor, so the client was facing a mandatory license suspension of one year for the second offense of Underage Drinking. At the summary trial, the officer testified about what had happened, but when testifying about the client’s age, the officer simply told the judge that the client “was under 21 years of age at the time of the incident.”
Experienced Penn State underage drinking attorney Jason S. Dunkle argued that the officer’s testimony stated a conclusion regarding the client’s age and did not present evidence from which the judge could find beyond a reasonable doubt that the client was under 21. In most cases, the officer provides the judge with the client’s date of birth by admitting into evidence a certified driving record that lists the birth date. By providing the judge with a date of birth, the judge can then conclude that the client was underage at the time of the incident.The State College judge agreed with the defense lawyer’s argument and found that the officer had failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the client was under the age of 21. Because the judge found the client not guilty, Attorney Dunkle was able to file an expungement petition with the Centre County court to have the Underage Drinking charge expunged from the client’s criminal record.