If you or an employee have been charged in Idaho with Dispensing or Providing Alcohol to a Minor Under the Age of 21, you should seriously consider hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney to assist you in the matter. Idaho law provides penalties for the individual who served or sold alcohol to a minor along with separate penalties for the bar or service station who employed that individual. Martens Law Office, P.C. has defended individuals working at service stations, service station owners, bartenders, cocktail waitresses and bar owners charged with providing alcohol to a minor.
Generally, those charged with providing alcohol to a minor did not intend to serve or sell alcohol to a minor. In most cases, it is a mistake in failing to get identification from the minor. This happens for numerous reasons, but generally innocent reasons. The bar or gas station may have been unusually busy and chaotic. The bouncer may have failed to check an ID at the door and the bartender assumed that the underage person had been ID'd and therefore was twenty-one (21) years of age or greater.
In Boise, the Boise City Police conduct "sting operations" on a regular basis to ensure that those selling alcohol are checking identifications to ensure that the purchasers are twenty-one years of age or greater. The Boise Police will hire an individual who is under the age of 21 and send them into a gas station or a bar. The underage individual will then attempt to purchase alcohol. If the gas station or bartender fails to obtain identification from the individual to ensure that the person is twenty-one years of age or older the bartender or service station employee will receive a misdemeanor citation. In addition, the bar or service station itself could find its alcohol and liquor license in jeopardy of suspension for a period of six months in addition to stiff fines.
The individual who served or sold alcohol to the minor could also receive stiff penalties. In Idaho, the law requires the court to impose a minimum of a five hundred dollar fine, up to a thousand dollar fine and impose up to a one-year jail sentence. Anyone who is charged with and convicted of serving a minor as a second-time violation could spend a year in jail and must pay a minimum of a thousand dollar fine and could have to pay a two thousand dollar fine. Interestingly, there is no time limit set out in the Idaho Code stating a time limit for making the mistake twice. Therefore, anyone serving alcohol in Idaho would find themselves charged with a second violation and the associated second-time penalties if they had ever in the past been cited for serving alcohol to a minor.
The police will also charge anyone over the age of eighteen (18) with providing alcohol to a minor if there are minors present partaking in the consumption of alcohol at a "house party". The penalties are the same for anyone caught serving alcohol to minors under the age of twenty-one. In Idaho, it does not matter that there was no money exchanging hands between the person providing the alcohol and the minor individual(s).
If you, your child or your employee have been charged in Idaho with dispensing or providing alcohol to a minor under the age of twenty-one (21) you should seek the assistance of counsel. Martens Law Office, P.C. is experienced in handling cases involving minor consumption and providing alcohol to a minor. Contact us today at (208) 344-0994.