Q: Is an underage correct? So I was at a frisbee tournament in Johnstown, PA and we had to get a hotel to stay overnight. The team was separated so that 21 year olds stayed with each other and everyone under stayed together. While watching the Penguins game, one of the 21 year olds came over to our room and asked me to take them to get beer because they had drank and didn’t want to drive. So I did, they put their beer in the trunk, then an undercover cop followed us back to the hotel from the beer store. The cop stopped me and charged me with an underage and confiscated my teammates’ beer. I hadn’t had anything to drink so I didn’t think that was the correct charge. I honestly didn’t know that I couldn’t transport alcohol, but he told me that was illegal. He also said I should have let my friends drive drunk, Soooooo.

A: The statute you are charged with, 6308, applies to consumption, possession and transportation. You are probably guilty of transportation. There is a driver’s license suspension if you are found guilty. You should review the case with an attorney, to determine if you have a defense, such as an illegal stop of the vehicle. If there a probable cause defense available to you, the attorney can advise whether you should pursue or not. If the defense exists, the attorney can use it to push the police for a better deal. If no defense is available to you, or if you don’t want to pursue it, the attorney can advise if a diversionary program can be made available by the district justice so you do not end up with a conviction. A diversionary program used in Allegheny County refers the minor to a course, which if successfully completed results in a dismissal.

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