Underage drinking results in criminal charges in Pennsylvania. In addition, a college student’s university might impose penalties for this type of offense.
Learn more about the legal and collegiate consequences of an underage drinking conviction so you can assist your child in this difficult situation.
Pennsylvania underage drinking laws
The state categorizes underage drinking as the possession, consumption, purchase or attempted purchase of alcohol. Your child could also receive this type of charge for possession or use of a fake ID.
The first offense carries a 90-day license suspension and a possible fine of $500. For a second or subsequent offense, your child could receive a one-year license suspension and $1,000 fine if convicted. A third offense results in a two-year license suspension.
College and university sanctions
Local colleges and universities also penalize students who commit alcohol-related offenses. For example, nearby schools have established the following policies:
- Swarthmore College may issue a warning, fine or probation for violating the school’s alcohol policy. The school may also suspend or expel your child, as well as seek criminal prosecution.
- Penn State notifies parents about alcohol violations until the student marries or reaches age 24. The university will require your child to complete an alcohol screening and education intervention at his or her own expense. He or she may be subject to further conduct action for multiple alcohol offenses or an alcohol offense involving violence or theft.
- Villanova University will require your student to take an alcohol education course and pay a fine of up to $150. Subsequent or more serious offenses result in further disciplinary action.
If your college student received an underage drinking violation, he or she can have attorney representation both in the legal system and during university proceedings.