Underage Drinking Offenses


College students and teens are subject to strict alcohol consumption laws. The legal age to purchase alcohol in Ohio is 21. Underage drinking offenses apply to both the underage consumers as well as adults who furnish alcohol to underage drinkers.

What constitutes an Underage Drinking Offense?

Under Ohio law, it is illegal for someone under 21 to order, pay for, share the cost of, attempt to purchase, possess, or consume any beer or intoxicating liquor in any public or private place. It is also illegal for a underage person to be under the influence of alcohol in public.

Parents and adults beware: buying beers for underage persons is also a crime. It is illegal to sell beer, buy beer for, or otherwise furnish beer for underage persons. It is also illegal for the owner of public or private property to allow underage consumption of alcohol.

There are a few notable exceptions to this law:

  • Physicians can give alcohol to an underage person if it's done in the regular line of the physician’s practice;

  • Religious purposes;

  • Underage persons can drink while under the supervision of a parent or legal guardian (as long as the parent or guardian is not underage).


Underage Drinking Offense possible penalties:

  • M1 (misdemeanor of the first degree)

  • MM (minor misdemeanor)

  • Unclassified misdemeanor


Have you or your child been charged with an underage drinking offense? Contact The Stavroff Law Firm today to learn about your rights and begin building your defense.