Butt-Dial to 911 Helps Cops Bust Underage Drinking Party
A butt-dial to 9-11 led police officers in Wausau, Wisconsin to bust seven suspects at a underage drinking party.
The Tuesday, February 24th phone call to 9-11 was accidental, but when no one answered dispatchers, police were sent to the cell phone’s location. Officers arrived at the home around 3:49 AM on Tuesday, and discovered a party where several of the partygoers, who were imbibing alcohol, were underage.
Two 18-year-olds, two 19-year-olds, and three 20-year-olds received municipal citations for underage drinking. In Wisconsin, a municipal citation is a noncriminal offense, similar to receiving a ticket.
However, South Carolina’s laws are zero-tolerance when it comes to underage drinking, even if a USC Student is arrested.
Consequences for Underage Drinking or DUI in South Carolina
It only takes a blood alcohol concentration of .02 to be charged with penalties for underage drinking and driving. Underage drivers will automatically have their license suspended for at least 3 months. Any person under the age of 21 who drives a motor vehicle after drinking alcohol faces a zero tolerance policy for drinking and driving.
It is unlawful for a person to sell beer to a person under twenty one years of age. A person who makes a sale in violation of this section must, upon conviction, be fined not less than one hundred dollars nor more than two hundred dollars or imprisoned not less than thirty days nor more than sixty days, or both, in the discretion of the court.
Parents can often be enablers for underage drinking. They may believe that if they host parties for teenagers, at least their children and friends will have a safe place to drink, rather than going out to bars or less safe parties. However, any underage drinking can have lasting consequences, including for the adults who allow the drinking to happen.
According to statistics from 2010:
- 29% of parents and teens know of parents who host teen alcohol parties;
- 25% of teens attended a party where alcohol was served to underage youth in the past two months, while parents thought the number was closer to 15% ;
- 12% of the youth maintained that they drank alcohol at the party;
- 68% of parents and 61% of teens believe that it is generally easy for underage youth to obtain alcohol;
- Alcohol dependence rates are highest among 18-20 year olds;
- Starting alcohol use at a young age is extremely dangerous;
- 10% of 12-year-olds have used alcohol; and
- By age 13 that number doubles.
A conviction for underage drinking can have lasting consequences.
- A student who has been convicted and/or pled guilty to an alcohol or drug related offense will not be eligible for a LIFE scholarship after the expiration of one academic year from the date of the adjudication, conviction or plea.
- A driver who is over the age of 18 but under 21 charged with DUI may additionally be charged with child endangerment and subject to additional criminal penalties if they are carrying a passenger younger than 16.
- A conviction for underage drinking and driving may ruin potential career opportunities.
Contact a South Carolina Criminal Defense Attorney for an Underage Drinking Arrest
South Carolina’s strict zero tolerance policy and the future implications of an underage drinking conviction make it critical that you contact a South Carolina underage drinking lawyer to protect your rights. The Criminal Defense attorneys at the Strom Law Firm, LLC provide a free consultation to discuss the facts of your case. Call us today to see how we can help. 803.252.4800