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The consequences of underage drinking in Kansas

As awareness about the general consequences of alcohol consumption spreads across the nation, so does concern over underage drinking. In fact, it is a crime in Kansas and may bring about several unexpected consequences to juveniles who are caught consuming alcoholic beverages in the state. Specifically, it is against the law for anyone under the age of 21 to possess, purchase or consume alcohol in the state of Kansas.

Despite the law, many young people in Kansas don't think they will get into any real trouble while drinking unless they are driving an automobile, but this is not the case. It does not matter what circumstances the underage drinking occurs, although the consequences are naturally more severe for those caught driving while intoxicated.

According to the Kansas City Department of Corrections, the following are some of the consequences juveniles can expect if they are caught with alcohol:

-- Juveniles caught possessing or drinking alcohol will be charged with Minor in Possession of or Minor in Consumption of alcohol-- Young people caught with alcohol will have to attend juvenile court-- If convicted, minors will be prohibited from driving for 30 days-- Minors may also have to attend an alcohol and drug treatment program-- In addition to regular penalties, minors will have to pay a $200 fine

Those under 21-years-old who are caught drinking and driving can expect even stricter penalties such as:

-- Mandatory loss of driving privileges for 30 days and then restricted driving privileges for an additional 330 days for a blood alcohol concentration of 0.02 to 0.08-- If the juvenile's blood alcohol concentration is greater than 0.08, he or she will lose all driving privileges for one year

One way to avoid such harsh penalties is to fight the charges. With the help of a Kansas City, Kansas, attorney, it may be possible to have the charges reduced or dismissed altogether.

Source: Kansas Legal Services, Inc., "Juvenile Crime and Consequences in Kansas" accessed Jan. 28, 2015

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