"The Sheriff's Office is committed to working with allied police agencies, governmental agencies, schools, and communities to combat underage drinking through educational programs and enforcement activities. This collaborative effort is focused on reducing incidents and accidents involving alcohol consumption by minors."
Laws and Consequences
Possession of Alcohol Under 18: Civil Citation and referral to the Department of Juvenile Services.
Possession of Alcohol 18 to 21: Civil Citation and a possible $500.00 fine.
Furnishing Alcohol to Someone Under 21: Civil Citation and a fine of $2,500.00 for first offense and $5,000.00 for the second offense.
Why Report Underage Drinking?
Alcohol use is associated with many adolescent risk behaviors, including other drug use and delinquency, weapon carrying and fighting, and perpetrating or being the victim of date rape.
Possible Consequences of Underage Drinking
- Adult alcoholism
- Brain damage
- Loss of driving privileges
- Poor school performance or failure to complete high school
- Risky decision making (e.g. riding with an intoxicated driver)
- Unplanned pregnancy
Alcohol is a depressant. It decreases the heart rate, reduces reaction time, slurs speech, and reduces body temperature. Most important, alcohol is a drug, and drinking alcohol in large quantities can result in alcohol poisoning. If a person passes out or vomits, get help. Call 911. Never leave him or her to "sleep it off."
How to Report Underage Drinking:
- Call Emergency 911, the St. Mary’s County Sheriff's Office at 301-475-8008, or the Maryland State Police at 301-475-8955.
- Call Crime Solvers at 301-475-3333 or text "TIP239" plus your message to “CRIMES” (274637). All calls and texts to Crime Solvers are anonymous.
Practice Safe Decision Making
- Take responsibility for your own actions, and act responsibly.
- Don't fall victim to peer pressure. The truth is that not everyone drinks.
- Have a code with your parents so that you can call them and alert them to a dangerous situation without having everyone else know.
- Don’t get in a car with someone who has been drinking.
- Never drink and drive.
For More Information
- Mothers Against Drunk Driving – www.madd.org
- Students Against Destructive Decisions – www.sadd.org
- Stop Underage Drinking Portal of Federal Resources – www.stopalcoholabuse.gov
- Don't Drink and Drive www.ddad.org
- National Organizations for Youth Safety noys.org
- Information www.samhsa.gov
- National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism www.niaaa.nih.gov