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Penalties For Underage Drinking

(Credit: Marco Di Lauro/Getty Images)

(Credit: Marco Di Lauro/Getty Images)

feldman_amy Amy Feldman
Amy E. Feldman is a business commentator and legal business...
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By Amy E. Feldman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Teens? Beer? The Law? Here’s what you need to know.

Last month the Buffalo News reported that eight teenagers were busted for underage drinking. Several were caught while jumping out of the window of the apartment building where the party was held – because when you’re drunk, jumping out the window seems like a pretty good plan.

With proms and graduation parties coming up, here’s what you need to know to form an intelligent opinion BEFORE you drink if you’re under 21.

First, you don’t have to be drunk to get busted for underage drinking. Adults need a blood alcohol content of .08 to be considered impaired. But if you’re underage, your blood alcohol content only has to be .02! And unlike adults, you don’t have to be driving to get busted. You’re busted if you are in possession of alcohol.

So what are the penalties?

In many states, you could go to jail, which is unlikely, but possible. But your trouble with the law gets reported to every college you apply to, not to mention everyone who sees your name in your local paper. You’ll also lose your license depending on the state for up to a year and face fines up to a thousand dollars.

Not to mention the harm from jumping out windows or other moronic decisions.