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How can an underage drinking citation affect you?

Many college underclassmen find themselves befriending and hanging out with peers who are just a few years older. A few years makes a big difference when it comes to the legality of certain activities such as drinking. If you are under 21 and caught drinking an alcoholic beverage, you could face penalties such as a citation. While this seems like a small penalty at a glance, it may have farther reaching ramifications.

Consider the following ways in which a citation for underage drinking can affect your life and cause lasting consequences. If you are in this situation, you can research legal recourse to try and combat these effects. It is important to understand how a citation will affect you and plan accordingly.

Academic penalization

If you strive to keep your academics and extracurriculars separate, it may surprise you to learn that an underage drinking citation can have an impact on your academics, too. It is not uncommon for universities and colleges to independently penalize students who encounter legal troubles. You may be put on suspension or referred to counseling as a result of the citation.  

Jail time and fines

In addition to the consequences that your school may impose, you may face jail time and fines as a result of the citation. The amount of the fines depends on whether it is your first offense, with penalties ranging from $500 to $1,000. Typically, you may face a maximum of 90 days in jail. These penalties can seem severe for a simple mistake that resulted in a citation.

Loss of driver's license

Finally, you may face a suspension of your driver's license if law enforcement catches you drinking and you are under the age of 21. In fact, young aspiring drivers in Pennsylvania may even lose the opportunity to get their learner's permit until the suspension period is over. A person who is under 18 may have driving privileges revoked before they even get them.

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