Both Kansas and Missouri are strict when it comes to minors and the law as it relates to alcohol-related offenses. For instance, adult drivers can be arrested and charged with DUI/DWI when they are found to have a BAC (blood alcohol content) of .08% or greater. Meanwhile, minors need only have a BAC of .02% or greater to be charged. In legal terms, minors are individuals who are younger than 21 years old.
States are often times expected to be tough on minors in order to discourage destructive behavior and to help identify alcohol and/or drug dependency issues early. Many states focus on education and rehabilitation with minors, rather than long jail sentences or heavy fines. Keep in mind, however, that minors will face their share of penalties when they have violated alcohol-related laws in both Kansas and Missouri. One such law is Minor in Possession of Alcohol.
What is the Minor in Possession Law in Kansas?
According to Statute 41-727, it is against state law for any person under 21 years of age to possess, consume, obtain, purchase, or attempt to obtain or purchase alcoholic liquor or cereal malt beverage except as authorized by Kansas law.
If a minor, who is at least 18 but less than 21, is found to have violated this statute, he or she will be charged with a Class C misdemeanor and be fined $200. If the minor is younger than 18 years of age, he or she will be considered to be a juvenile offender and will be sentenced to a fine of at least $200, no more than $500.
In addition to the fine, an offender may also be required by the court to perform 40 hours of public service or attend and satisfactorily complete an educational or training program that deals with issues related to alcohol and/or drugs and how these substances can affect the body.
Further, upon a first conviction, the minor will lose driving privileges for 30 days. If this is a minor's second conviction, driving privileges will be suspended for 90 days and a third or subsequent conviction will lead to a suspension of one year.
There are limited exceptions to this law. For instance, it will not apply to possession and consumption of cereal malt beverage of a minor if the act is permitted, supervised, and furnished by a parent or legal guardian.
Missouri Minor in Possession Law
According to the Missouri Revised Statutes, any person under the age of 21 years old who purchases or attempts to purchase, or has in his or her possession, any intoxicating liquor is guilty of a misdemeanor.
Under the law, a first violation will lead to a fine of no more than $300. A second violation means a jail term of no more than one year and/or a fine for no more than $1,000.
Do You Need an Attorney?
If you are a minor and have been charged with an alcohol-related charge in Kansas or Missouri, it is a good idea to consult with an experienced and local attorney. When dealing with the law, it is best to work with a defense attorney who will explain to you your rights in order to achieve the best possible outcome for your case.