You child can be in trouble for drinking alcohol in Wisconsin

The last thing you want to deal with as a parent is a child with a criminal record. Unfortunately, minors make mistakes, and they can be held accountable by law.

As of 2010, people under the age of 21 can be convicted of the "absolute sobriety" law. With this law, a minor may not have "a drop" of alcohol before getting behind the wheel. This leads to a $200 fine and up to a three-month suspension of the driver's license. Four demerits are also issued, which can potentially add up to losing a license for a longer period of time.

This is a tricky offense, because there are conflicting laws in place that could allow your child to drink. For instance, if you are having a meal, you may allow your child to have alcohol, like a glass of wine. If your child is stopped afterward, he or she will be unlikely to be intoxicated, but the absolute sobriety law could still lead to a conviction.

Fortunately, if your child is convicted while under 18, juvenile records are generally confidential and sealed in many cases following your child's 18th birthday. The only people who can still access information about your child's conviction would be a municipal prosecuting attorney, the law enforcement agency near you, you, your child, or a court.

There are other convictions your child could face as well, like being charged for carrying a fake ID to access alcohol illegally. It's not uncommon to face more than one charge upon arrest, so it's important to start defending your child immediately.

Source: Wisconsin.Gov, "Underage Alcohol Offenses and Related Penalties," accessed Dec. 22, 2016

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