What can happen if there are drunk and underaged passengers in a car with a sober driver? 38 Answers as of July 09, 2013

If we are going home from a party and the person driving is sober, but the other passengers are drunk and underage, what would be the consequences? There is no alcohol in the car.

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Edward  D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law
Edward D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law | Edward D. Dowling IV
I would need further information, but generally the driver could not be charged with driving while intoxicated or undder the influence of alcohol. The police would need a reason to stop the vehicle, such as a violation of the vehicle trafic law like speeding etc. Once the vehicle was stopped the police would probably notice the drunk passenges and could ask for ID and find out they are underage and charge them. If any charges are brought they should hire an attorney.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 10/12/2011
Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider
Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider | Peter Goldscheider
Difficult to say. It does not sound like a crime is apparent but it would depend on what the officer believes occurred before and what the passengers tell him. You could be charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor if there is evidence you provided access to the alcohol in some way.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/24/2013
Law Offices of Sean Logue
Law Offices of Sean Logue | Sean Logue
There shouldn't be any charges filed.
Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
Replied: 7/9/2013
Nichols Law Firm
Nichols Law Firm | Michael J. Nichols
I need to know more. However, without any proof that the driver got the underage individuals intoxicated or played a role somehow, the driver should not be guilty of anything.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 9/19/2011
Freeborn Law Offices, P.S.
Freeborn Law Offices, P.S. | Steve Freeborn
Depending upon where the alcohol came from and who supplied the minors. If it was the driver, he could be charged with providing alcohol to minors. If he is simply transporting these people because they are drunk and he had nothing to do with it, then probably nothing will happen.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 9/16/2011
    Mark Thiessen, Attorney at Law
    Mark Thiessen, Attorney at Law | Mark Thiessen
    Two things, why would a sober person get pulled over? If they do, then nothing will usually happen. But technically they could be charged with Minor in Consumption or Minor in Possession. Both are defeatable charges. If the driver somehow gets arrested, then the drunk minors can't drive home and would have to be left on the side of the road, which would then be Public Intoxication. How did the minors get intoxicated? That person could be in real trouble for Contributing to Minors, Furnishing Alcohol to Minors or Selling to Persons underage. But if this is a story of high school kids that go get drunk, and have a designated driver, then it happens every day and I am glad they have a DD. Tell the drunks to behave in the back seat so they don't cause the driver to get pulled over. If they do, they could get minor charges which are A LOT better than DWI.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 9/16/2011
    Law Offices of Jeffery A. Cojocar, PC
    Law Offices of Jeffery A. Cojocar, PC | Jeffery A. Cojocar
    All of them can be charged and arrested.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 9/16/2011
    Law Office of Thomas F. Mueller
    Law Office of Thomas F. Mueller | Thomas Mueller
    Nothing except possibly contributing to the delinquency of a minor, but there is no danger of that if the driver had nothing to do with buying the alchohol or getting them drunk.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/16/2011
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law | Thomas J. Tomko
    Thank you for your inquiry The underage drunks can be charged, and if the driver furnished alcohol, then the driver could get charged also I hope that this was helpful.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 9/16/2011
    Shane Law Office
    Shane Law Office | Robert J. Shane
    The passengers could be charged with a misdemeanor minor consumption. The officer does not need to locate a container of alcohol in the car in order to justify the issuance of a citation to the passengers. Instead, the officer will probably request that the minor suspects blow into a preliminary breath test to determine if there is any alcohol in their system. The test result is admissible in a criminal prosecution and any amount of alcohol found in their system will support a conviction. A person convicted of a misdemeanor offense can be sentenced from 0 to 90 days in jail and/or $0.00 to a $1,000.00 fine.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 9/16/2011
    The Law Office of Cindy Barton
    The Law Office of Cindy Barton | Cindy Barton
    The question doesn't make much sense unless the car was pulled over for something.If they were pulled over for even a traffic offense, and the police officer could see that the passengers were under the influence and under age, he would issue tickets for illegal consumption by a minor. He would probably be looking to see who provided the alcohol for the minors as well.A ticket for illegal consumption can result in a delay in getting or keeping a driver's license as well as the trouble with court.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 9/16/2011
    Law Office of Richard Williams
    Law Office of Richard Williams | Richard Williams
    Unless the driver furnished the minors with alcohol there should be no charges against him. The minors could possibly all be charged with minor in consumption/possession of alcohol.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 9/15/2011
    Austin Legal Services, PLC
    Austin Legal Services, PLC | Jared Austin
    If there are drunk minors in the car, then they could be charged with minors in possession of alcohol which is a misdemeanor. Depending on how they got the alcohol or who gave it to them could potentially result in more charges.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 9/15/2011
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
    The underage passengers could face charges of consumption by a minor, the driver could face charges if he was in any way responsible for the minors consumption of alcohol.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 9/15/2011
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C.
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C. | Craig Elhart
    Those that are underage could be charged with minor in possession. The driver, depending on the circumstances might face charges along the lines of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 9/15/2011
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    No problems at all. That is the legal and responsible thing to do.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/15/2011
    Law Office of Daniel K Martin
    Law Office of Daniel K Martin | Daniel K Martin
    There is no criminal liability, however the reality is that prosecutors can charge whatever they want to charge. Just because a person is charged with a crime does not mean they are guilty. The short answer is that technically there is no criminal liability for the driver.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/15/2011
    Jonathan S. Willett Attorney at Law
    Jonathan S. Willett Attorney at Law | Jonathan S. Willett
    If the underage passengers were given breathalyzers, they could be charged with minor in possession of alcohol.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 9/15/2011
    Connell-Savela
    Connell-Savela | Jason Savela
    At the least, the drunk underage passengers will get minor in possession or use of alcohol tickets. MIP is for minors either holding alcohol or using alcohol. If the driver did not provide the alcohol, it is unlikely that s/he will face any charges. This goes same with any sober passengers.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 9/15/2011
    Law Office of Joseph A. Katz
    Law Office of Joseph A. Katz | Joseph A. Katz
    No consequences to the driver, who I assume was not stupid enough to tell the police that he or she furnished alcohol to the minors. Rather, that sober driver was just transporting these inebriated juveniles home from the park, where they had consumed some alcohol they obtained from some unnamed source. You probably do not want to identify someone's residence where they were drinking, nor who supplied them with the alcohol. That is, unless you want to potentially cause some serious legal headaches for someone. Certainly, the driver should indicated that he or she was not partying with the youths, and was just rescuing them after becoming aware that they had been drinking.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/15/2011
    Law Office of Rodney Nosratabadi
    Law Office of Rodney Nosratabadi | Rodney Nosratabadi
    Your California Driver's License is still at risk if this type of conduct occurs. Your license could be suspended for up to one year. Please call me at 714-955-8365 to discuss further.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/15/2011
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC | Timothy J. Klisz
    The passengers will be charged with MIP.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 9/15/2011
    Watkins Law Office
    Watkins Law Office | Bob Watkins
    The driver should be applauded to being the "designated driver". As described I see no problems.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 9/15/2011
    Betts Legal Services
    Betts Legal Services | Shawn M. Betts
    The driver would face no consequences, but the passengers, if underage, could potentially be charged with a misdemeanor charge of Underage Consumption of Alcohol.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 9/15/2011
    Law Office of Richard Southard
    Law Office of Richard Southard | Richard C Southard
    Merely, driving passengers home is not a crime even if they are underage and drunk. If it was then a taxicab driver would be committing a crime in the same situation. Are you implying somehow that the driver is responsible for their intoxication? Legal disclaimer: All answers are for information purposes only. Answering this question or any future questions does not form any attorney-client relationship. Be mindful, that answers are limited by the limited facts presented by the questioner and are not meant to take the place of competent legal advice by an attorney fully informed of all the facts surrounding your case. However, be aware that nothing posted in a public forum such as this can be deemed confidential or privileged communication.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 9/15/2011
    Anderson Law Office
    Anderson Law Office | Scott L. Anderson
    The minors could be charged with minor consumption and the driver could be charged with providing alcohol to minors but the state would have to prove that the driver gave the alcohol to the minors.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 9/15/2011
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    I think that the driver is suspect but safe.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 9/15/2011
    Law Office of Thomas A. Medford, Jr., PC
    Law Office of Thomas A. Medford, Jr., PC | Thomas A. Medford, Jr.
    Based on the facts that you have provided there does not appear to be a problem concerning DUI however the presence of intoxicated minors could create unwanted attention from the police.
    Answer Applies to: District of Columbia
    Replied: 9/15/2011
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    Your post does not have any contact with police. So, nothing. If cops stop car, depends on what driver may say about the intoxicated minors, if anything. Minors probably get cited and released to parents.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/15/2011
    Michael Maltby, Attorney at Law
    Michael Maltby, Attorney at Law | Michael Maltby
    The mino rs could be charged with Minor in Possession of Consumption (of alcohol). I would need more facts to further speculate.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 9/15/2011
    John Segelbaum, P.S.
    John Segelbaum, P.S. | John Segelbaum
    Assuming you did not furnish the liquor there are no legal consequences.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 9/15/2011
    Michael Breczinski
    Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
    The person that is taking them home should not get in trouble except if he or she was the source for the alcohol that the underaged people were drinking.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 9/15/2011
    Law Office of Edward J. Blum
    Law Office of Edward J. Blum | Edward J. Blum
    Consequences to whom? To the driver, none. Probably none for the passengers either.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/15/2011
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
    That depends on the age of the underage people. If they are under eighteen, then the driver would be under suspicion of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. If over eighteen but under twenty-one the driver may get off. Either way the underage persons will get popped for being underage and drunk in public.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/15/2011
    Law Offices of John Carney
    Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
    The passengers can be charged with public intoxication and any adult that served them can be charged as well.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 9/15/2011
    Andersen Law PLLC
    Andersen Law PLLC | Craig Andersen
    The answer will depend on additional facts. The under aged passengers can all be charged with Minor in Possession of Alcohol or MIP. If the drive furnished the alcohol, the driver could be charged with furnishing liquor to minors. If the driver was just the designated driver, he or she should not be charged with anything.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 9/15/2011
    Law Office of Neal L. Weinstein
    Law Office of Neal L. Weinstein | Neal L. Weinstein
    Nothing can happen to the driver. The underage persons might be charged with illegal possession of alcohol by consumption. In reality, the police will likely be nasty and trump some charge up, like driving beyond license restriction or other, and demand to know where and who obtained the booze.
    Answer Applies to: Maine
    Replied: 9/15/2011
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