Category: Legal

Under-Age Drinking Laws: Legal in Most States in US

Under-age drinking laws in most states of the U.S. permit those under the age of 21 to drink alcohol. The places and situations differ. It is commonly asserted that under-age drinking laws make it illegal for anyone in the US under the age of 21 to drink alcohol. However, that is simply not true. This […]

Alcohol Laws / Legal Decisions
Alcohol Breath Tester Accuracy
Minimum Legal Drinking Age
Alcohol Abuse and Problem Prevention
Alcohol Law Enforcement
Alcohol Advertising
Other Alcohol Legal Issues

Readings about the Law and Legal Matters in Alcohol and Drinking:

  • American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). NJ's Highest Court Places Limits on Use of Force in Taking Blood Samples from DWI Suspects. ACLU press release, July 7, 2001.
  • American Hotel & Lodging Association Educational Institute. Alcohol, the Law and Your Property. Orlando, FL: Educational Institute, 2002.
  • An Examination of California's Teen Driving restrictions. Costa Mesa, CA: Automobile Club of Southern California, 2002.
  • Bergman, Paul and Berman-Barrett, Sara J. The Criminal Law Handbook. Berkeley, CA: Nolo, 2006.
  • Bowers, Paige. Will the recession doom the last Sunday Blue Laws? Time, February 22, 2009.
  • California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. Alcoholic Beverage Control Act: Business and Professions Code, Division 9, and Related Statutes and Regulations. Sacramento, CA: Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, 2009.
  • Callahan, Mary. SR (Santa Rosa) weighs alcohol ban on private property. The Press Democrat, May 14, 2004.
  • Cauvin, Henri E. Criminal Charges Halted in Underage Alcohol Cases: D.C. Police Chief "Not Happy" with Judge Deeming Possession a Civil Infraction. Washington Post, May 30, 2004, page C01.
  • Cook, Matthew J. Underage alcohol consumption in the United States : associations with access laws, alcohol excise taxes and enforcement practices. M.P.H. thesis. University of Connecticut, 2008.
  • Critics fear new alcohol laws hurt tourism. KSL-TV, March 8, 2004.
  • Dodge, Mary. Juvenile police informants. Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice, 2006. 4(3), 234-246.
  • Drug and Alcohol Services Council. Alcohol Laws. Parkside, S. Australia: Drug and Alcohol Services Council, 2002.
  • Egelko, Bob. Law narrows on minors, alcohol. Adults who buy for them gain defense. San Francisco Chronicle, August 14, 2004.
  • Fox Bowman Duarte Notes That Washington Supreme Court Prohibits Use of Controversial DUI Breath Test Results. Business Wire, July 1, 2004.
  • Garriott, James C., et al. Medical-Legal Aspects of Alcohol. Tucson, AZ: Lawyers & Judges Publications, 2003.
  • Hallinan, Joseph T. In fight to stop drunk driving, police draw blood. Authorities often must force suspects to give samples; a dilemma for doctors. Mr. Jones dies in custody. Wall Street Journal, March 23, 2004.
  • Hazelden Foundation. Legal Consequences of Alcohol and other Drugs. DVD video. Center City, MN: Hazelden Foundation, 2005.
  • Kent County Board of License Commissioners. Alcoholic beverages manual of rules and regulations of Kent County Board of License Commissioners. Chestertown, MD: Kent County Board of License Commissioners, 2007.
  • Kinkade, P. T. The Unintended Consequences of California's 1982 Drunk Driving Laws: The Costs of Being "MADD." (Irvine, CA: University of California, Ph.D. dissertation, 1990).
  • Kinkade, P., et al. Probation and the drunk driver: a cost of being "MADD." (mandatory sentencing for drunk drivers promoted by Mothers Against Drunk Driving not effective alone) Federal Probation, 1992, 56(2), 6-15.
  • Labbe, J.R. You may need a drink to understand our liquor laws. Star-Telegram,May 16, 2004.
  • Levin, Myron. Lawsuit alleging beer ads target teens is tossed out. Los Angeles Times, February 1, 2005.
  • Lewis, John A. A Zero-Tolerance Juvenile Alcohol Law: Why Legislation Won't Work. El Paso, TX: LFB Scholarly Publications, 2009.
  • Lieb, David A. Tougher laws proposed to fight underage drinking Legislative panel recommends stronger penalties, closing loopholes. Springfield News-Leader, November 13, 2004.
  • Lundegaard, Karen. DWI court treatment programs in U.S. show signs of helping drunk drivers to sober up. Wall street Journal, April 7, 2004, pp. B1-B2.
  • Maryland. General Assembly. Special Committee on Drug and Alcohol Abuse. Compilation of Maryland drug and alcohol laws and summary of ... legislation. Annapolis, MD : Special Committee on Drug and Alcohol Abuse. (Drug and alcohol abuse laws)
  • Matthews, Cara. Bill might curb underage drinking. The Journal News, July 5, 2004.
  • McCormack, Patrick J. The Ban on Breathable Alcohol Devices. St. Paul, MN: Research Department, Minnesota House of Representatives, 2006.
  • Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning. The Definition of Drunk Driving in Michigan: Lower Limit, Tougher Law. Lansing, MI: Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning, 2005.
  • Miller, Vanessa. Officials want to get tough on alcohol: Underage drinking focus of law. Iowa City Press-Citizen, February 18, 2004.
  • National Center for DWI Courts. Drug Courts Work. Alexandria, VA: National Center for DWI Courts, n.d.
  • National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation. Alcohol Law and Your Responsibility. DVD video. Chicago, IL: National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation, 2005.
  • Neff, Elizabeth. Appeals court sides with driver on alcohol test. Salt Lake Tribune, June 11, 2004.
  • Nelson, Bruce, and Ames, Tera. Forced blood draws in DUI cases. Communique, 2003, 24(2).
  • New Jersey. New Jersey Intoxicating Liquors Law: Title 33. Flushing, NY: looseleaf Law Publications, 2006.
  • New law supersedes Supreme Court ruling on breath tests. Seattle Post Intelligencer, July 1, 2004.
  • New Zealand. Law Commission. Alcohol in our lives : an issues paper on the reform of New Zealand's liquor laws. Wellington, N.Z. : Law Commission, 2009.
  • Nicholson Committee. Review of Liquor Licensing Law in Scotland. Edinburgh, Scotland: Scottish Executive, 2003.
  • Oklahoma Board of tests for Alcohol and Drug Influence. Implied Consent. Oklahoma City, OK: Oklahoma Board of Tests for Alcohol and Drug Influence, 2006.
  • Oregon Liquor Control Commission. Oregon's Alcohol Laws and Minors. Portland, OR: Oregon Liquor Control Commission, 2007.
  • Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board. Drinking, Boating and the Law. Harrisburg, PA: Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, 2008.
  • Phillips, Robert C. DUI: Nelson vs. City of Irvine. San Diego County Legal Update Bulletin, 1998, 6, 5-12. "Taking blood from a DUI arrestee who has requested a breath or urine test is unlawful, even if not forced, justifying a federal civil rights suit for common law assault and battery."
  • Rawls, Eben. The Intoxilyzer isn't perfect: Judges in DWI trials must stand for justice despite pressure from public. Charlotte Observer, August 20, 2004.
  • Reynoldson, D. Improving the enforcement of underage alcohol laws in Kansas. M.C.J. thesis. Washburn University of Topeka, 2002.
  • Scottish Executive. The Sale of Alcohol to Children and Young Persons Regulations. Edinburgh, Scotland: Stationery Office, 2007.
  • Smart, Christopher. Booze bills may hurt tourism. Salt Lake Tribune, March 3, 2004. Smith, J.J. Bars want alcohol law [blue law] changed. Southern Voice, February 14, 2003.
  • South Carolina criminal and traffic law field guide. Charlottesville, Va. : LexisNexis, 2010. Includes Miranda warnings, traffic laws and alcohol laws.
  • Stephey, M.J. A brief history of America's quirky alcohol laws. Time, July 9, 2009.
  • Students file suit over DC underage drinking policies. GW (George Washington University) Hatchet, January 22, 2004.
  • Supreme Court hears challenges to new breath tester. Associated Press, November 6, 2003.
  • Tasmania Commissioner for Licensing. A Guide to Tasmanian Liquor Law. Hobart, Tasmania: Commissioner for Licensing, 2005.
  • Tauber, A. and C. W. Huddleston, C.W. DUI/Drug Courts: Defining a National Strategy. Washington, DC: National Drug Court Institute, 1999.
  • Terrazas. Aaron. Council amends drinking laws. The Hoya, September 25, 2004.
  • Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission. Alcoholic beverage laws for minors. Irving, TX: Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission. 2000. (Purchase, attempt to purchase, possession, consumption, misrepresentation of age, public Intoxication by minor.)
  • Treatment advocates try to extend drug court success to DUI offenders. Alcoholism & Drug Abuse Weekly, 1999, 11(35), 1???
  • U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The role of alcohol beverage control agencies in the enforcement and adjudication of alcohol laws. Washington, DC: U.S. Dept. of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2005.
  • Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. Army strong : abiding by Virginia's alcohol laws. Richmond, VA: Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, 2008.
  • Virginia Department of Alcohol Beverage Control. Just the facts : Virginia alcohol laws & parental responsibility. Richmond, VA: Virginia Department. of Alcoholic Beverage Control, 2009.
  • Virginia State Bar. Minors, Alcohol and Virginia Law. Richmond, VA: Virginia State Bar, 2008.
  • Wagenaar, A.C. and Wolfson, M. Enforcement of the legal minimum drinking age in the United States. Journal of Public Health Policy, 1994, 15(1), 37-53.
  • Winfree Jr, L.T. and Giever, D.M. On classifying driving-while-intoxicated offenders: The experience of a citywide DWI drug court. Journal of Criminal Justice, 2000, 28(1), 13.
  • Wright, Gary, Alexander, Ames, and Mellnik, Ted. "Judges are not following the law." Charlotte Observer, August 9, 2004.


  • Barr, Andrew. Drink: A Social History of America. New York: Carroll & Graf, 1999, p. 381.
  • Heath, D.B. Drinking Occasions: Comparative Perspectives on Alcohol and Culture. Philadelphia, PA: Brunner/Mazel, 2000, p. 53.
  • Prial, F. J. Strange But True Tales From the Annals of Drinking Laws. New York Times, March 11, 1998
  • Pennsylvania Crime Code (Title 18); Minnesota Statutes 1999 (340A.902).
  • Iowa Code (123.49-2-b-k), Iowa Administrative Code (1850).
  • Michigan Liquor Control Code (436.2021).
  • Iowa Code (123.120).
  • Chap. 10, Liquor Dealer Permits. IC 7.1-3-10-5, Sec. 5.
  • Missouri Revised Statutes (311.325).
  • 1. Government Printing Office. GPO Access. (


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