Just because you’ve received an underage drinking ticket does not mean you should just pay the ticket and accept the consequences that can reach far into your future. An experienced lawyer, like Rick Coad, can get your ticket amended or dismissed.
In Wisconsin it is illegal to possess or consume alcohol if a person is under the age of 21 years old. It is also illegal to present or possess a fake ID (falsely represents his or her age to receive alcohol). Wis. Stat. Section 125.07(4) makes it illegal for minors to possess or consume alcohol. That means you can be ticketed if you are in possession of alcohol even if you have not consumed it. Or, conversely, you may be ticketed if you show signs of having consumed alcohol (including a breath test) even if you no longer possess the alcohol. Also, unless accompanied by a parent or guardian, it is illegal for a minor to be present on licensed premises (those places licensed to sell alcohol, like bars). While these offenses are not criminal offenses, they carry significant consequences.
Underage drinking tickets carry a fine, and can cause the suspension of your driver’s license. If you are a student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison who is issued an underage drinking ticket, the Dean’s Office may subject you to non-academic disciplinary proceedings. Moreover, not only can underage drinking tickets cause problems at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, they can cause difficulties in the future. Many times, job applications or college or graduate school applications seek disclosure of any alcohol related offenses, and particularly underage drinking offenses.
While it may seem that you don’t have a good defense and should just pay the underage drinking ticket, that is likely not your best option. And it may hurt your career pursuits in the future. These negative consequences can be avoided, or at least reduced, if properly handled.