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State Profiles of Underage Drinking Laws

- Connecticut -

Underage Drinking: Underage Possession of Alcohol

Possession is prohibited WITH THE FOLLOWING EXCEPTION(S):

  • parent/guardian
  • OR spouse

Underage Drinking: Underage Purchase of Alcohol

Purchase is prohibited, but youth MAY PURCHASE for law enforcement purposes.

Underage Drinking: Furnishing Alcohol to Minors

Furnishing is prohibited WITH THE FOLLOWING EXCEPTION(S):

  • parent/guardian
  • OR spouse

Underage Drinking: Minimum Ages for On-Premises Servers and Bartenders

Beer: 18 for both servers and bartenders
Wine: 18 for both servers and bartenders
Spirits: 18 for both servers and bartenders

Underage Drinking: False Identification for Obtaining Alcohol

Provision(s) targeting minors:

  • Use of a false ID to obtain alcohol is a criminal offense
  • Penalty may include driver's license suspension through a judicial procedure

Provision(s) targeting retailers:

  • State provides incentives to retailers who use electronic scanners that read birthdate and other information digitally encoded on valid identification cards
  • Licenses for drivers under age 21 are easily distinguishable from those for drivers age 21 and older
  • Specific affirmative defense - the retailer inspected the false ID and came to a reasonable conclusion based on its appearance that it was valid

Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) Limits: Youth (Underage Operators of Noncommercial Motor Vehicles)
BAC limit: 0.02 - a BAC level above the limit is per se (conclusive) evidence of a violation.

Applies to drivers under age 21.

Retail Sales: Keg Registration

Keg definition: 6 or more gallons

Prohibited:

  • possessing an unregistered, unlabeled keg - max. fine/jail: $500 / 3 months

Purchaser information collected:

  • purchaser's name and address
  • verified by a government-issued ID
  • Warning information to purchaser: passive – no purchaser action required

    Deposit: not required

    Provisions do not specifically address disposable kegs

    Underage Drinking: Use/Lose: Driving Privileges

    Type(s) of violation leading to driver's license suspension, revocation, or denial:

    • Underage possession

    Use/lose penalties apply to minors under age 21

    Authority to impose driver's license sanction

    • mandatory

    Length of suspension/revocation: 30 days

    Notes:
    In addition to the 30 day suspension penalty mentioned in the table above, Connecticut imposes a license suspension of 60 days if underage possession occurs "on any public street or highway." See Conn. Gen. Stat. §§ 14-111e(a), 30-89(b)(1). APIS does not code provisions that apply only when the minor is located on a public street or highway.

    Underage Drinking: Prohibitions Against Hosting Underage Drinking Parties

    Social host law is not specifically limited to underage drinking parties.

    Action by underage guest that triggers violation: Possession

    Property type(s) covered by liability law:

    • Residence
    • Outdoor
    • Other

    Standard for hosts' knowledge or action regarding the party: Criminal Negligence

    Preventive action by the host negates the violation (see note).

    Exception(s):

    • Family

    Notes:
    The "preventive action" provision in Connecticut requires the prosecution to prove that the host failed to take preventive action. Effective October 1, 2012, Connecticut permits prosecution of a person who "knowingly, recklessly, or with criminal negligence" permits a minor to possess alcoholic liquor. See Conn. Gen. Stat. § 30-89a. When a statute specifies more than one level of knowledge that may suffice for a social host offense, APIS codes to the lowest or least demanding of such levels.

    National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism National Institutes of Health Department of Health and Human Services USA.gov - Government Made Easy