Can my son be charged with underage drinking just for being at a party?

Q. Advise is needed for an Under Age Drinking citation. My teenage son blew .0 on the Breathalyzer. He was at an underage party . The police were called (we believe by other teens that were asked to leave ) . When the police arrived another teen was seen in the door way and was unresponsive so the police entered the home . All of the teens were given Breathalyzer testing. My son blew a .0 (dad was present) and was released to his father. At that time the police indicated that he would not be cited. He just received a citation & is charged with consuming alcoholic beverages. Should we contact the police before his hearing, is it possible that the citation was issued in error? Can we get a copy of his Breathalyzer test? Can he still be charged with underage drinking if he blew .0? Can he be charged with something else since he was at the party even though he wasn’t drinking?

A: In order for him to be guilty, there must be more evidence than him just being present at the party. The statute reads, purchase, consumption, possession or transportation of alcohol. If he is guilty of any of these, he can be cited and convicted. There needs to be police or other witnesses testify that your son purchased, transported, consumed or possessed the alcohol or made it available as it seems consumption is out due to his preliminary breath test. I don’t know all the facts here and you should review them with an attorney. If there is evidence that he physically possessed or purchased the alcohol or hosted or organized a drinking party, he may be convicted. If your attorney thinks there is evidence against him and having a hearing is risky, he may be eligible for a first time offender’s program. Bear in mind, these offenses carry driver’s license suspensions if you are found guilty.

If you feel like this issue relates to you, or a problem that you are experiencing, please contact me so that we can discuss your situation.