New Hampshire law prohibits any minor under the age of 21 from transporting alcohol in a motor vehicle or boat unless accompanied by a parent, legal age guardian, or of-age spouse.
Many parents are unaware that if they lend their car to a minor child to drive, and there is alcohol located anywhere in the car, even if unopened and/or in a locked trunk, the underage and unsuspecting minor can be charged with transporting alcohol and face significant fines and loss of license. Although state legislators have considered a change in the law to the minor having any of-age person in the car, the current law only allows for a parent, legal guardian or of-age spouse. Even a minor taking a friend or non-parental relative, such as a grandparent to the store for groceries and transporting unopened alcohol is currently against the law. The most commonly cited violation is underage college students driving of-age friends with alcohol in the vehicle. Oftentimes a Possession of Alcohol by a minor violation will be combined with the transportation charges. Although you may think the charges are no big deal, your criminal history record lasts forever and could affect you down the road when you’re older and wiser.
A minor convicted of transporting alcohol in NH faces significant fines and penalties, including potential loss of license. A first offense carries a maximum fine up to $1,000. In addition to the fine, the Court may impose a 60 day license loss. Of significant importance, and not explicitly set-forth in NH RSA 265-A:45, is the additional loss of license from the NH Division of Motor Vehicles pursuant to NH RSA 263:56-b. Revocation of license under Division of Motor Vehicle laws could be as low as 90 days, and up to one year. Subsequent violations are treated more harshly. The only current exemption from the law for minors transporting alcohol is for a driver 18 years old or older to be permitted to transport alcohol for their job, under NH RSA 179:23. Having experienced attorneys representing you in a Transporting of Alcoholic Beverages by a Minor charge is crucial, both to your peace of mind, and to your future. Criminal records last forever, unless annulled, and requests can be made for employment, housing, licensing, and healthcare. Only annulled criminal records are excluded from a criminal history check.
Our NH criminal defense lawyers have significant experience in defending against transporting alcohol charges. We have helped hundreds of clients with their criminal defense matters. We strive to resolve each case without any conviction for our younger client. We know you have your entire future ahead of you and don’t need a criminal conviction interfering with your education, housing, or future job opportunities.
We are well-prepared to go to bat for you to help keep your criminal record free and clear of minor-related alcohol charges.
If you have been charged with transporting alcohol or possession of alcohol in NH and are under the age of 21, please contact us at (888) 332-5855 for a no-charge consultation to discuss your legal matter.
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