PAULA, A Violation of the 1984 National Minimum Drinking Age Act

Posted by on Jan 4, 2015 in Criminal Defense | 0 comments

Serious crimes, such as those involving drugs and traffic violations, like DUIs or those resulting to injury or death of an innocent victim, require a tough defense from a knowledgeable and experienced criminal defense lawyer. The fact, actually, is that any type of criminal charge, even a simple case of misdemeanor, warrants the assistance of a good defense lawyer, due to the many negative severe repercussions of a criminal conviction.

A criminal charge can smudge an individual’s reputation for the rest of his/her life. This is because the ill effects of a criminal charge, more so a conviction, will continue to hound a person long after the courtroom hearing and even long after he/she has already paid for the crime he/she has been convicted of. Besides losing his/her job or getting denied employment (despite anti-discrimination laws that prohibit employers from using past criminal offenses to deny a person a job, except in certain types of work, like law enforcement, etc.), a person may also be denied by a landlord from renting an apartment, by the government from being issued a professional license and from traveling abroad, or by the court from winning a child custody case.

One type of crime that can heavily affect a young person’s life is Possession of Alcohol under the Legal Age (PAULA), or Minor in Possession (MIP). According to the website of Brent Horst, Attorney at Law, an MIP is considered only a misdemeanor, but even this can stick on one’s records.

PAULA or MIP is a violation of the National Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984. This law strictly prohibits the purchase and/or possession of alcoholic beverages in public (except under certain circumstances) by those below 21 years old.

Punishment for violators of the National Minimum Drinking Age Act differs among states; however, the usual penalty for first time offenders is a fine ranging from $100 to $200, but so long as the offense is not a DUI/DWI or public intoxication. A higher fine is imposed on repeat offenders plus possible community service or mandatory participation in an alcohol education program. Some states also suspend the offender’s driving privileges.

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