A good drink of wine and beer is such a social staple that the law cannot prevent its citizens from consuming them. The US government had already tried and failed during the roaring twenties, with more contraband-related crimes that blew up in the authorities’ faces.
But who can blame the people when it’s not the alcohol itself that is at fault? It’s why today, laws and regulations are revolving around your favorite alcoholic beverage.
If you enjoy a good drink every now and then, the following are what you should keep in mind:
1. The Allowed Drinking Age Can Be Changed
The US government has already established that 21 years is the minimum legal age wherein the individual can consume and purchase alcoholic drinks. It was established in the Federal Uniform Drinking Age Act in 1984. But most people are not aware that there are exemptions to this rule when minors may be allowed to drink alcohol:
- Medical reasons (16 states)
- Activities related to religion (26 states)
- Lawful employment
- If law enforcement deems it necessary (5 states)
- Consent through spouse, parent, or guardian (only at private residences and if they are drinking in the presence of a family member)
- Educational purposes (i.e., in culinary schools – 11 states)
- Native American reservation – the US government considers them as independent.
The following exceptions may still be confusing to some citizens and might make a mistake that could land them in jail. So, if you’re throwing an event but want to be compliant with the laws on serving alcohol to guests, you can consult legal experts, such as www.blakeandayaz.com, and contact them for clarifications.
2. Where You Stand for Alcohol Abuse
The substance abuser can also run into hot water since it is your choice to ignore the laws. Those who commit the most devastating effects are drunk drivers. Every year, there are over 10,000 deaths due to DUI, and you can lose the following:
- Jail sentence
- Loss of employment
- Losing custody of the children
- Attend alcohol-abuse treatment set by the court
- Rights to vote
- Parental rights
- College scholarships
Substance abuse today is treated as an addiction, and getting caught driving under the influence not only suspends your driver’s license, the court will also demand that you seek treatment. The best way to lessen car accidents is to discipline oneself to wear seatbelts and check the car itself.
Rehabilitation is also needed if you’re a parent wanting to get the custody of your children back; and if your employer wants you to complete addiction treatment for its effect on your job.
3. You Need a License to Sell and Produce Alcohol
As a business owner that produces or sells alcohol, you need to apply and pay for licensing first. You can head over to the state, local government, or municipality for an alcohol sales license. But the granting of a license may also be conditional.
- If a suitable place is selling the alcohol
- The business owner must not have a criminal record
- The location of the business must not cause the neighborhood any nuisances – your place of business should be away from schools and churches.
There are laws by state that also hold that host legally responsible for drinking among minors who frequent the establishment that they own or lease. The law also applies whether you directly serve the alcohol or not, as long as you own the venue. Your license to sell will be revoked should you breach the conditions above.
4. Restaurants Must Also Be Compliant
Every business that involves alcohol is under obligation to comply with the laws and regulations on alcohol serving. Believe it or not, that also includes who is allowed to serve alcohol to the customers, though it varies from state to state.
Minors who are allowed to bus at a restaurant may only place the order for an alcoholic drink but not pour it over or serve it to the customer.
Their ordinances and state laws to follow, but as a business owner, you must find out for yourself. In the state of California, your license to sell alcohol will be suspended or revoked for a few days. The penalty schedule is as follows to the following violations:
- 10-day suspension – sale and consumption of alcohol by employees and friends after hours
- 15-day suspension – sale of alcoholic beverages to minors under 21 years of age
- 25-day suspension – selling of alcohol to intoxicated persons (2nd violation)
- 30-day suspension – license-holder or bartender is intoxicated while working
5. On Child Abuse or Neglect
While there are currently no federal laws against pregnant women drinking alcohol, there are states with similar laws prohibiting women in their prenatal terms to consume alcohol. They could face penalties or be charged with child abuse that would depend on the mother’s situation. There are 20 states where pregnant women who abuse alcohol can receive severe punishments. They are Arizona, Colorado, Maine, Indiana, Nevada, South Carolina, and Utah, to name a few.
The World Health Organization recognizes the dangers of alcohol to the abuser and others. These laws and regulations are in play because of substance abuse. They are here to ensure that drinkers can still have their drink and not cause any public nuisances.