Thousands of Maine residents consume alcohol every day, most of them having reached the legal drinking age of twenty-one years old in the state. This is a common practice for men and women across America, and it can be a great way to relax after a long day at work, or just spend time with friends. However, if you are not careful, it could lead to problems that affect you for the rest of your life.
First, consuming alcohol under age twenty-one is against the law. If you are stopped for any reason, you could be arrested if the officer discovers that you are underage. This may result in an OUI charge, or operating under the influence of alcohol, and a charge such as this one stays on your criminal record for a very long time. With dozens of alternatives for having fun while you are underage, there is no situation that should warrant consuming alcohol, especially in excess.
Second, you will lose your license for at least a year if you are caught with alcohol in your vehicle while underage. Regardless of how much you have consumed, even if you pass a breathalyzer test with flying colors you will no longer have driving privileges. Even transporting alcohol while underage is against the law, and carries a mandatory suspension. Refuse a breath test, and the length of suspension time dramatically increases.
Finally, even your first offense can change your life, and the lives of many around you. This could come in the form of hefty monetary fines, loss of driving privileges, jail time, community service, mandatory alcohol education, and much more. Aggravating factors like causing property damage, injuries, or fatalities, having another minor in the car, selling/giving alcohol to a minor, excessive speeding, and many other driving infractions can exacerbate the problem as well. It can literally mean a lifelong problem, especially if you are over seventeen but under age twenty-one. You have none of the privileges of being a minor in the eyes of a judge/jury, with all of the drawbacks of being tried as an adult.