Can a police officer issue a minor for underage drinking without looking at the persons actual ID?

We got a noise complaint and the sheriff’s office came to check it out. They ended up breathalyzing and taking down 15 peoples information. They told us that they would be mailing us minors for underage drinking. However they only actually looked at 2 peoples ID’s; nobody else had theirs. Information from everyone else was just taken down by word of mouth. Can it be argued that information was falsified?Are these tickets still considered legit? Or is there a basis for argument?

Asked on July 29, 2010 under Criminal Law, Minnesota


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You can certainly try to challenge the tickets on the basis that the information is incorrect and therefore you did not commit the offense charged. However, the fact the police did not check IDs is not in and of itself sufficient to challenge it. After all, there is a myriad of other ways to find out how old someone is, including by asking them and having them tell you. So if you believe the basis for the tickets is incorrect and you can show that, certainly challenge it; but if it's correct, the fact that the police happened to not check all IDs will not actually avail you anything. (Besides, if they checked two IDs and those two were underage, you'd be liable on those tickets no matter what.) Good luck.

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