In order for the prosecutor to convict a person for furnishing alcoholic liquor to minors, the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant sold or furnished alcoholic liquor to a minor. In addition, the defendant can either have done so knowing the person was not of the legal drinking age when the alcohol was provided to the minor, or by failing to make a diligent inquiry as to whether the person being sold or furnished the alcohol was a minor.
Definitions of elements:
Alcoholic Liquor: is defined as any spirits, wine, malt beverage, fermented liquor or beer containing ½ of 1% or more of alcohol by volume.
Minor: is anyone selling or furnishing liquor to minor provides alcohol to an individual under the legal drinking age of 21 years old.
Diligent Inquiry: means a good faith effort to discover the age of the minor. This could be from looking at the driver’s license, military identification, passport, or any other photo identification card with a picture and date of birth listed on the card.
Furnishing alcoholic liquor to a minor misdemeanor offense
If the defendant is not in the business of selling alcohol, the crime of furnishing alcohol to a minor is misdemeanor offense. This means the defendant cannot be retail licensee, licensee’s clerk, agent or employee. For a first time offense, this misdemeanor is punishable by a fine of less then $1,000 and no more than 60 days in jail.
For a second offense, the fine can go as high as $2,500 with as much as a 90 days in jail. In addition to the fines and jail time, there is a possibility the defendant will have to do community service. A second offense can also result in a suspended license.
Furnishing alcoholic liquor to a minor felony offense
The defendant could be charged with a felony if (1) the defendant furnished alcohol to a minor (2) the minor consumed the alcohol given by the defendant (3) and the alcohol consumption was the direct and substantial cause of the minor’s death or an accidental injury that caused death. The penalty for a felony offense carries with it a fine of no more than $5,000 or a prison sentence of up to 10 years, or both.
Defenses are different in every case because ever case is different. One particular defense to the misdemeanor or felony charge of furnishing alcohol to the minor is if the defendant asked to see the minor’s id. Upon asking for the identification, the defendant was shown a driver’s license or id providing the age, a photo, and identity of the person prior to providing the alcohol.
If you have been charged with furnishing alcohol to a minor for or another crime, contact Michigan defense lawyer, Aaron J. Boria, PLLC. Aaron Boria is a criminal defense attorney in Southeast Michigan that will fight for your rights. Aaron J. Boria practices law all over Wayne, Oakland, Washtenaw County and more. Call today for a free consultation (734) 453-7806.