New Canaan and Darien Connecticut police are dialing up their underage drinking party enforcement efforts. With school back in session, teenagers and high school students in small towns like Darien and New Canaan Connecticut are once again hanging out at night and on the weekends, sometimes experimenting with drugs and alcohol, and sometimes even with the permission and blessing of their parents.
But here’s the problem, as the best Darien & New Canaan criminal lawyers and attorneys can explain: Connecticut police and prosecutors are no longer giving out “warnings” or “slaps on the wrist” for hosting or turning a blind eye to underage drinking parties. Instead, they are arresting kids and parents, teaching them—and more importantly, teaching the communities that read about these arrests in the newspaper—about the consequences of breaking underage drinking laws by hauling them to court with 1 of 3 serious charges…
The top New Canaan & Darien Connecticut criminal defense lawyers and attorneys would agree that there are 3 crimes or infractions that are usually charged in connection with underage drinking parties in Darien or New Canaan Connecticut: (1) Providing Alcohol to a Minor (C.G.S. 30-86), (2) Social Hosting (C.G.S. 309-89a), and (3) Possession of Alcohol by a Minor (C.G.S. 30-89).
Many of the best Darien and New Canaan Connecticut criminal lawyers know that the most serious social hosting law in Connecticut is Providing Alcohol to a Minor, in violation of C.G.S. § 30-86. This is a class “E” felony charge. You can be arrested in Darien or New Canaan for felony Providing Alcohol to a Minor if you intentionally or knowingly give someone under the age of 21 alcohol or if you buy it for someone underage. In fact, you can be arrested for felony Providing Alcohol to a Minor even if you are under 21 years old!
If you or your child are arrested for Providing Alcohol to a Minor in Darien Connecticut, you will have to report to Stamford Superior Court (New Canaan arrests report to Norwalk Superior Court). Before you go to court, however, be sure to contact a top Darien or New Canaan criminal lawyer because the penalties for this felony in Connecticut include up to one year of jail time, pricey fines, and probation. Follow this link for more on fighting Providing Alcohol to a Minor arrests in Darien or New Canaan Connecticut under CGS 30-86.
There’s another commonly charged crime in New Canaan and Darien that involves permitting teenagers to drink, even if you didn’t purchase or provide the alcohol. The crime is often called “Social Hosting,” in violation of C.G.S. § 30-89a, and is a Class A misdemeanor.
New Canaan or Darien Connecticut police officers frequently write the words “failing to halt possession” or “permitting a minor to possess alcohol” on a Connecticut social hosting arrest summons. Regardless of how they write it on the paperwork, a Darien Social Hosting arrest can expose you or your child to jail time, fines, and probation.
Social Hosting arrests are specifically targeted at homeowners and party hosts, who can be arrested for social hosting in Darien just for failing to stop underage drinking at their home – even if they do not provide any alcohol to a minor! The statute assumes that homeowners should have known about an underage drinking party, even if they truly did not know.
Let me be real clear about this: taking the kids’ car keys or supervising them while they drink will not protect you from a § 30-89a Social Hosting arrest in Darien or New Canaan Connecticut. So if you or your child have been arrested for social hosting in Darien, get in touch with a top Connecticut criminal attorney, who will work quickly to protect your reputation and try to get the case dismissed as quickly as possible.
The third charge that Darien or New Canaan parents should be aware of is a criminal infraction known as Possession of Alcohol by a Minor, in violation of C.G.S. § 30-89. Top Connecticut Minor in Possession of Alcohol ticket lawyers will advise you to fight the ticket to avoid a guilty plea. While it’s technically not a crime in Connecticut, a guilty plea to Possession of Alcohol by a Minor will trigger a DMV license suspension and could permanently appear on your child’s background checks. Lastly, if your teenager received a Minor in Possession ticket in Connecticut and has already mailed it in as “guilty” with the fine, you may be able to reverse it and still get it ripped up.
Getting arrested for Providing Alcohol to a Minor or Social Hosting, or getting a ticket for Possession of Alcohol by a Minor can quickly affect your permanent record and reputation if not handled properly from the very beginning. So if you or your teenager is facing any of these alcohol charges in Darien, New Canaan, or anywhere in Connecticut, give us a call today. For certified reviews from our former clients, check out Avvo.com. We are available 7 days a week at (203) 358-4700.