Can a minor get a possession of alcohol ticket if no alcohol is found?

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Can a minor get a possession of alcohol ticket if no alcohol is found?

After a 10 hour canoe trip, my daughter was a passenger in a car that was pulled over for drunk driving. The driver was charged with drunk driving as he was slightly over the legal limit. All the kids in the car were sleeping (over an hour away from home). They awoke when the officer pulled them over. The officer asked the girls, both underage, to be breathalyzed and they refused. There was no alcohol in the car. The girls both got possession of alcohol tickets. What defense do they have?

Asked on October 13, 2010 under Criminal Law, Iowa

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

I would seek legal help in your state as soon as you can.  A minor in possession ticket is really a serious matter and can have far reaching effects so do not consider pleading guilty or no contest or paying a fine until you speak with an attorney.  An attorney skilled in this area from your state will know how to determine the best position for your daughter.  The refusal of the breathalyzer test may have something to do with it.  Some states have laws that make it an offense for passengers that are sober to allow drivers who are drunk to drive.  Ask the attorney about that.  The refusal may have prompted the ticket. Good luck. 


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