School resource officers encourage responsible celebrations

With graduation, prom and summer approaching, Baldwinsville Central School District School Resource Officers Martin Knaul and Christine Weeks would like to remind students and parents about the legal drinking age in New York State and laws pertaining to the consumption, serving and selling of alcoholic beverages.

Drinking age

The drinking age in New York State is 21. It is illegal to consume and/or possess alcohol for those under 21. Officer Knaul said an exception to this law is if the beverage is given to the individual by his or her parent or guardian. For example, a parent may allow their own child to have a glass of wine with dinner on a special occasion. However, he said providing the child with alcohol and letting him or her drink until intoxicated is illegal and could be consider unlawfully dealing with a child.

Officer Weeks stressed that it is especially important to monitor guests who are under 21 at graduation parties and other celebrations you are hosting at which you are serving alcohol. As a host, you can be sued and you can face legal charges should any guest under 21 become intoxicated at your home and end up injuring themselves or someone else.

Zero Tolerance Law

It is illegal for any driver under the age of 21 to consume any amount of alcohol. Any driver under 21 who law enforcement determines has consumed alcohol is subject to a possible fine and suspension of license.

Fake or forged IDs

It is illegal to use a fake ID to purchase alcohol. It is also illegal to tamper with a driver's license, which those under 21 sometimes do to try to purchase alcohol. A driver can lose his or her driver's license for a period if he or she has altered the license. Officer Knaul said this is considered criminal possession of a forged instrument in the second degree, and it's a felony.

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