Minors Purchasing & Transporting Alcohol

The Massachusetts police and legislature are adamant about halting youth possession and transportation of alcohol, with particular targets on high school students and underage college kids—whether at parties, tailgates, or on the road. If you are under the age of 21 and have been charged with a crime relating to juvenile purchase or transportation of alcohol in Massachusetts, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced juvenile defense attorney at the Boston and Cambridge law firm of Altman & Altman, LLP. Our dedicated lawyers will attempt to dismiss the charges against you, have the evidence obtained excluded or suppressed, or otherwise provide you with a defense.

Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 138 governs the purchase and transportation of alcohol by minors in Massachusetts. In particular, two sections are controlling. M.G.L. Ch. 138 Section 34A punishes individuals less than 21 years of age who:

  • purchase or attempt to purchase alcohol/alcoholic beverages
  • arrange with anyone to purchase/procure alcoholic beverages
  • willfully misrepresent his or her age or alters, defaces, or otherwise falsifies his ID as proof of age, with the intent to purchase alcoholic beverages

Minors violating this provision must pay a fine of $300. Section 34A also charges a $300 fine to a person who:

  • knowingly makes a false statement about the age of a person under 21 years of age in order to procure a sale or delivery of alcohol such a person, either for the use of the person under 21 years of age or for the use of some other person
  • induces a person under 21 years of age to make a false statement as to his age in order to procure a sale or delivery of alcohol to such person under 21 years of age

Conviction under this section may also be reported to the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) and result in a 180 day suspension of a driver’s license.

The second important Massachusetts provision governing youth possession of alcohol is Chapter 138 Section 34C, which provides that any person under 21 years of age may not knowingly possess, transport, or carry any alcoholic beverages without a parent or guardian. Punishment for violation of this statute is up to $50 for the first offense and up to $150 for the second offense. Conviction of a violation is reported to the RMV and may result in a license suspension. An exception applies for 18-21 year olds who transport alcohol during the course of employment.

Facing one of the alcohol charges listed above can be a frightening experience for juveniles and their families. Along with the threat of fines and license suspension, the juvenile must also face the potential that such a charge or conviction will remain on his juvenile record—which could have ramifications for his or her future educational opportunities, job applications and interviews, and housing applications.

If you are a minor and have been charged with transporting, purchasing, or possessing alcohol in Massachusetts, representation by a seasoned juvenile defense attorney is indispensable. At the Greater Boston Law Firm of Altman & Altman, LLP, our juvenile possession and transportation of alcohol lawyers have the skill and knowledge that comes with over four decades of experience. Contact us to schedule a free, confidential consultation, where we will explain your legal options and answer any legal questions you may have. We are available by phone at 617.492.3000 or at 800.481.6199 (toll free) around the clock and respond promptly to all emails received by the firm.

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