In California the legal age for drinking alcohol is 21. An alcoholic beverage is defined as any beverage that contains at least one-half of 1 percent of alcohol. (BPC §§ 23004, 25658, 25659). Providing alcoholic beverages to anyone under the age of 21 is prohibited.
Further still, possession of alcohol in public places by anyone under the age of 21 is prohibited. (BPC § 25662(a)) No possessing or drinking alcohol if you are a minor. If you are in a public park or recreation area you cannot possess an open container of alcohol. If you get caught you can be cited with an infraction. (BPC § 25620)
Bars and places that serve alcohol are also places that you cannot have anyone under the age of 21.
Here's the one that is romanticized in Hollywood- It is also illegal to possess false identification. It is also illegal to use fake ID to buy (or attempt to buy) alcohol or to enter an establishment where alcohol is being served. (BPC § 25661)
What about at the home you say? It is legal for those under 21 to be in a home where adults over 21 are drinking alcohol. However, it is illegal to provide alcohol to anyone under 21. Providing alcohol to a minor is a misdemeanor. (BPC § 25658)
If you provide alcohol or a controlled substance to someone under the age of 21, and that person gets in a car accident, you could be found guilty of a misdemeanor and face a $1,000 fine and up to a year in jail. (BPC § 25658.2)
Driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) is a very serious crime that often requires the payment of a large fine, a mandatory jail sentence, five years’ probation and the suspension or revocation of a driver’s license.
To sum it up- keep booze away from your kids. No matter how responsible you think they are. The price is never worth it.
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