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Alcohol Offenses Underage Possession or Consumption of Alcohol While Under 21 are common charges in the Charlotte-Metro region.

Anytime someone under 21 has consumed or is possessing alcohol, that is technically a crime.

There are lots of issues relating to these cases such as:

  • How the officers came to find you in possession of alcohol?
  • How they came to find out you were under 21?
  • How did law enforcement determine consumption of alcohol?
  • Were there preliminary breath tests?
  • Was there a “breathalyzer” or EC/IR II test?



There are lots of issues in each case and it’s important to contact us as soon as possible so we can discuss the issues relating to your defense.

In North Carolina, alcohol-related laws are enforced by a special group within the Department of Crime Control and Public Safety – the Alcohol Law Enforcement (ALE) agents, as well as other police officers, State Troopers, County Law Enforcement such as Sheriff’s Deputies and ABC Alcohol Beverage Control representatives.

ALE and ABC tend to focus on or investigate and charge people with crimes relating to the sale and purchase, consumption and possession, manufacture and transportation of alcoholic beverages.

While ALE focuses much of its enforcement efforts on North Carolina underage drinking laws, there are several other types of alcohol-related crimes it handles as well, such as:

  • Selling alcohol without a permit
  • Open container laws (having an open can, bottle or container of alcohol in a car)
  • Selling alcohol to someone who is intoxicated


Defense Attorneys Who Know North Carolina Criminal Law

Our criminal defense team is led by firm partner, defense lawyer Bill Powers, a board-certified criminal law specialist who has been listed in North Carolina Super Lawyers magazine (2015) in criminal law, and has been listed in Business North Carolina magazine – Legal Elite (2015).

It’s normal to be concerned, understanding criminal cases can carry long-term consequences.

How will a criminal charge affect your ability to go to college or get a job? Could you face fines or even jail time?  The key to good decision making is good information.  That includes preparation, experience and review of the factual basis for any criminal charge.

Yes, it may be serious; but can be options available.

Call Powers McCartan, pllc now for a confidential consultation, free of charge for matters involving Criminal Defense, Traffic & DWI DUI Impaired Driving Offense.

Experience in North Carolina criminal courts and thorough preparation are great places to start.

Alcohol Under 21

  • It is illegal to sell or purchase alcohol for a person under the age of 21 (even if you are under 21).
  • It is illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to possess or purchase alcohol (malt beverages, unfortified or fortified wine, spirituous liquor, or mixed beverages).
  • It is illegal for someone to use a false ID in order to obtain (or attempt to obtain) alcohol.

These North Carolina alcohol laws create problems for hundreds of young people every year; and sometimes for parents, bartenders, salespeople and others. If your young person has been arrested as a minor in possession of alcohol, we can help.

Contact Powers McCartan

If you or your business has run afoul of North Carolina underage alcohol laws, legal help is available. Protect your rights and your business by talking with a lawyer at the North Carolina law offices of Powers McCartan. Call (704) 342-4357. Speak with an attorney who understands your legal problem and can help you find a resolution.

Bill Powers
Founding Partner at Powers McCartan, PLLC
Bill is a Partner with Powers McCartan, PLLC. His practice areas include DWI/DUI, Traffic Offenses, Criminal Defense & Civil Litigation of Serious Personal Injury Cases.