Underage Alcohol Offenses in Wisconsin

The legal drinking age in the State of Wisconsin is 21 years old. Wisconsin has many laws penalizing underage alcohol consumption, underage alcohol possession, and consuming alcohol while driving and being under the age of 21. The penalties for underage alcohol related convictions range in severity and have serious consequences to driving privileges, as well as permanent records.

Anyone charged with an underage age alcohol related offense should consult with an experienced attorney to help them avoid license suspensions, permanent marks on public records, as well how to seek sufficient alcohol counseling, if needed.

Below are some common underage-related alcohol offenses and related penalties:

DUI Underage - Absolute Sobriety ("Not a Drop Law")

  • 346.63(2m)
  • No person under the age of 21 may operate a motor vehicle with any in their system. The minimum BAC for driving under age is BAC of 0.0. Zero tolerance.
  • $200 fine;
  • 4 demerit points on driving record;
  • 3-month license suspension.

Underage Alcohol Consumption or Possession

  • Wis. Stat. 125.01(4)(b)
  • If not accompanied by a parent, legal guardian or a spouse who has attained the legal drinking age, it is illegal for anyone under 21 to knowingly possess or consume alcoholic beverages.
  • Penalties:
    • 1st offense:
      • $100-$200 fine;
      • 30 – 90 day license suspension (maximum);
    • 2nd offense in a year:
      • $200 - $300 fine;
      • 12-month license suspension (maximum);
    • 3rd offense in a year:
      • $300 - $500 fine;
      • 2-year suspension (maximum).
    • 4th offense in a year:
      • $500 - $1,000 fine;
      • 2-year license suspension (maximum).
  • Each citation, regardless of priors, can result in court ordered Alcohol and Drug Assessments (AODA) and treatment, as well as a Supervised Work Program.

Under 21 and Bars/Liquor Stores

  • Under Wis. Stat. 125.01(4)(a) it is illegal in Wisconsin for anyone under the age of 21 to:
    • Knowingly be in a bar/liquor store or attempt to enter a bar/liquor store under the age of 21. Wis. Stat. 125.01(4)(a)(1).
    • Obtain or attempt to obtain alcohol from a licensee or permittee. Wis. Stat. 125.01(4)(a)(2)
    • Possess or consume alcohol on licensed premises (bars or restaurants), unless accompanied by a parent, guardian or 21-year-old spouse. Wis. Stat. 125.01(4)(a)(3)
    • Falsely represent his or her age for the purpose of obtaining alcohol from a bar, restaurant or liquor store. Wis. Stat. 125.01(4)(a)(4)
  • Penalties:
    • 1st offense:
      • $250-$500 fine;
      • 30 – 90-day license suspension (maximum);
    • 2nd offense in a year:
      • $300 - $500 fine;
      • 12-month license suspension (maximum);
    • 3rd offense or more in a year:
      • $750 - $1,000 fine;
      • 2-year suspension (maximum).
  • Each citation, regardless of priors, can result in court ordered Alcohol and Drug Assessments (AODA) and treatment, as well as a Supervised Work Program.
  • Also, if under age 17, at time of offense, penalties will slightly vary. See Wis. Stat. 125.07(4)(a).

Fake ID and under 21

Under Wis. Stat. 125.085(3)(b) it is illegal to:

  1. Intentionally carry someone else’s official identification card to convey false information;
  2. Intentionally carry official identification obtained under false pretenses;
  3. Alter, duplicate or make official identification card reflecting incorrect age;
  4. Intentionally carry official identification showing reflecting that person has attained legal drinking age, with knowledge that the document is false or incorrect.

Penalties:

  • $300 -$1,250 fine
  • Up to 90 day suspension.
  • Enhanced penalties if under 17 at time of offense.

Under 21 and Alcohol in vehicle

  • Wis. Stat. 346.93 provides that no person under the age of 21 may knowingly:
    • Possess any alcohol beverage in any motor vehicle;
    • Transport any alcohol beverage in any motor vehicle;
    • Have under his or her control any alcohol beverage in any motor vehicle.
  • Exceptions:
    • If person possesses, transports or controls in the course of employment duties.
  • Penalties:
    • $20-$400 fine;
    • 30 to 90 - day suspension for 1st offense;
    • 12-month suspension for 2nd offense within a year of 1st offense;
    • 24-month suspension for 3rd or high within a year of 1st and 2nd offenses.