Defense For Those Under The Legal Drinking Age

The legal drinking age in New Mexico is 21. It is illegal for anyone under 21 to consume or be provided with alcohol.

New Mexico has divided the crime of minors consuming alcohol into two basic categories: the child who possessed/consumed the alcohol and the adult who provided the alcohol. For defense of either, call the attorneys at McGraw & Strickland, LLC, in Las Cruces at 575-523-4321.

Minor In Possession

A minor who consumes or possesses alcohol, they may be charged and face several penalties.

For the first violation, the offender shall be:

  1. Fined an amount not more than $1,000

  2. Ordered by the sentencing court to perform 30 hours of community service related to reducing the incidence of driving while under the influence of intoxicating liquor

For the second violation, the offender shall:

  1. Be fined an amount not more than $1,000

  2. Be ordered by the sentencing court to perform 40 hours of community service related to reducing the incidence of driving while under the influence of intoxicating liquor

  3. Have his or her driver's license suspended for a period of 90 days

    1. If the minor is too young to possess a driver's license at the time of the violation, then 90 days shall be added to the date he would otherwise become eligible to obtain a driver's license

Third or subsequent violation, the offender shall:

  1. Be fined an amount not more than $1,000

  2. Be ordered by the sentencing court to perform 60 hours of community service related to reducing the incidence of driving while under the influence of intoxicating liquor

  3. Have his driver's license suspended for a period of two years or until the offender reaches 21 years of age, whichever period of time is greater

Selling Or Giving Alcohol To A Minor

When an adult sells or gives alcoholic beverages to a minor, they may be charged with a fourth-degree felony.

There are statutory exceptions to this crime under certain circumstances, such as when a parent provides alcohol to their child and when the alcoholic beverages are used in the practice of religious beliefs.

Normally, these charges involve young people who have behaved inappropriately by providing alcohol to friends. At McGraw & Strickland, LLC, our first concern is keeping the accused from having a conviction on their record, which can have devastating and lasting consequences.

The lawyers at McGraw & Strickland, LLC, have obtained successful outcomes for many of these types of cases, keeping our clients out of jail and maintaining a clean record. To schedule a consultation, call us at 575-523-4321 or contact us online.