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Common Alcohol-Related Charges That Tennessee College Students Face

Posted on in DUI/DWI/BUI

Knox County criminal defense attorney DUI

Universities and colleges have always been known for their parties and easy access to alcohol. Aside from the higher education that these academic institutions provide students, they also present many young adults with their first opportunity to live away from home. This opportunity of growth is important for those on the verge of adulthood, but it can also lead many students down the wrong path. Despite what movies or TV shows may show, the legal drinking age restriction of 21 still applies to college students. However, easy access to alcohol leads many students to believe that they are invincible. The following alcohol-related offenses are common on Tennessee college campuses, leaving many students with criminal charges on their record and in many cases, additional consequences from the university.

Possession and Consumption

With house parties on every street corner and tailgates occurring on a weekly basis, college students have numerous opportunities to get their hands on alcohol and drink it without their parents’ watchful eyes. Just a few drinks in and students can quickly forget about campus police that patrol the streets looking for intoxicated, underage students. Possession and consumption of alcohol are both illegal for those under the age of 21. So, if a student is found walking around campus, sober, carrying a pack of beer, he or she can still face criminal charges. Those students who are found drinking underage in Tennessee can be charged with a Class A misdemeanor, carrying 11 months of jail time, community service, fees, and having their driver’s license revoked. 

Fake IDs

Students can easily, and illegally, purchase fake IDs online that list a higher age than their actual age. These are commonly used to purchase alcohol or get into bars near college campuses. Obtaining a fake ID is an offense in and of itself, but using the ID to purchase alcohol is an additional charge. In Tennessee, the court does not always press charges or take away retailers’ liquor licenses for selling alcohol to a minor who uses a fake ID. According to Tennessee legislation, a retailer’s license or permit will not be revoked if they sold beer to someone who presented a fake ID, which lists his or her age as at least 21, and his or her appearance is believable as being of the legal age.

Drinking and Driving

Driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) is a criminal offense for anyone whose blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is at or above 0.08 percent. While this may not sound like much, for most people, they can reach this level after only two drinks. Those under the age of 21 have even stiffer regulations. Individuals under the age of 21 who are found driving with even a 0.01 percent BAC can receive a DUI charge. His or her license will be suspended for one year, he or she will be issued a $250 fine, and may be required to complete community service. A DUI charge can greatly impact one’s ability to be accepted by or remain at a university and he or she may struggle to find employment with the charge on his or her record.

Contact a Knoxville, TN Criminal Defense Attorney

Being hit with criminal charges as a college student can be overwhelming to say the least. You are probably nervous about disclosing the charges to your parents and you may not know how to defend yourself in a court of law. Anyone facing criminal charges, regardless of their age, should find a reputable criminal defense lawyer to stand by their side. Jeffrey Coller, Knoxville Criminal Defense Attorney, works with clients of all ages to help them receive a second chance. Our experienced Knox County criminal defense lawyer will help defend you in court so that you can focus on the true purpose of college -- getting an education. Call our firm today at 865-281-1000 to schedule your free consultation.

 

Sources:

https://alcoholpolicy.niaaa.nih.gov/underage-drinking/state-profiles/tennessee/94

https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/safety/publicsafety/duioutline.html#duifirst 

 

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