It is unlawful for an individual under the age of 21 to have alcohol in their possession with the intent to consume in NY.

In the state of NY, is it considered unlawful for anyone under the age of 21 to consume alcohol in any amount or possess an alcoholic beverage with the intent to consume [Source: NY ABC Sec. 65 (C)]. Despite the fact that the law prohibits anyone under the age of 21 from drinking, many teens and young adults engage in the act simply because they are able to gain access to alcohol. In fact, in 2018, 892 individuals had a fake ID seized from them, some of which were arrested [Source: New York State]. Many teens often get fake ID’s not only to obtain access to nightclubs and other restricted areas, but also to purchase alcohol for themselves and their friends.

When a person under the age of 21 is caught with an alcoholic beverage or drinking one by law enforcement officials, although they won’t face criminal charges in most instances, they will be faced with consequences for their actions. NY ABC Sec. 65 (C) states that “Any person who unlawfully possesses an alcoholic beverage with intent to consume may be summoned before and examined by a court having jurisdiction of that charge.” The court may then impose a fine of $50.00 and/or require the individual to complete an alcohol awareness program. It may also require them to complete, at maximum, 30 hours of community service.


What if a teen was caught drinking and driving in Brooklyn, NY?


It is illegal for anyone in the state of NY to operate a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol with a BAC of .08% or higher who is over the age of 21. However, for teens and those who are under the age of 21, NY has set some very strict laws governing drinking and driving, one of which is recognized as the “Zero Tolerance” Law. The “Zero Tolerance” Law states that when a teen driver is said to be operating a motor vehicle with a BAC of .02% to .07%, they will be required to appear at a DMV hearing [Source:New York State Department of Motor Vehicles]. In the event the judge presiding over the case has adequate support that proves the teen is guilty, they will be faced with the following penalties:

  • Having their license suspended for 6 months.
  • Having to pay a fine of $125.
  • Having to pay a fee of $100 for suspension termination.


In the event a teen is caught with a BAC level of .05% or higher, they may be charged with driving while ability impaired (DWAI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI), arrested, and may be prosecuted in criminal court. In the event a teen is convicted of DWI or DWAI in Brooklyn, NY, their license will be revoked for one year. If they are found guilty of committing the crime for a second time while still under the age of 21, their license will be revoked for at least one year or until they reach the age of 21, whichever is longer.

Teens who are charged with DWAI or DWI are also at risk of receiving additional penalties depending on the degree of the charge and the circumstance’s surrounding the crime.


My teen was caught operating a vehicle while under the influence. Do I need to hire a Brooklyn, NY criminal defense lawyer?


If your teen was arrested and charged with DWI in Brooklyn, NY, it is imperative you hire a NY criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.

Absolutely. Anytime an individual, whether they are a teen or adult, is charged with DWI, they need to retain a Brooklyn, NY criminal defense attorney who can protect their rights and their freedom. New York state frowns heavily upon intoxicated drivers and looks to prosecute them in the highest degree possible. Therefore, if you want to stand a chance at getting your teen’s charges reduced which would then lower the severity of their penalties, you need to contact the Greenberg Law Firm today. They are available seven days a week, 24 hours a day and are ready to provide you and your teen with the legal assistance you will need.


In the event your teen was caught with alcohol in their possession, you are also encouraged to contact this firm as they can explain what your teen’s legal rights are in the matter.


The Greenberg Law Firm is located at:

86 Court Street

Brooklyn, NY 11201

Office: 718-797-1800

Mobile: 917-716-6416