Home
APIS Policy Topics
Underage Drinking>
Maps & Charts
About APIS>
About Alcohol Policy
What's New
Policy Changes at a Glance
Change Log
APIS Resources>
Contact APIS
 
State Profiles of Underage Drinking Laws

- Delaware -

Underage Drinking: Underage Possession of Alcohol

Possession is prohibited WITH THE FOLLOWING EXCEPTION(S):

  • private residence
  • AND EITHER parent/guardian OR spouse

Notes:
Delaware’s exception includes “members of the same family” and allows possession if in “private home of any of said members.” Del. Code Ann. tit. 4, § 904. APIS interprets the phrase “members of the same family” as including a spouse.

Underage Drinking: Underage Consumption of Alcohol

Consumption is prohibited WITH THE FOLLOWING EXCEPTION(S):

  • private residence
  • AND EITHER parent/guardian OR spouse

Notes:
Delaware’s exception includes “members of the same family” and allows consumption if in “private home of any of said members.” Del. Code Ann. tit. 4, § 904. APIS interprets the phrase “members of the same family” as including a spouse.

Underage Drinking: Internal Possession by Minors

Internal possession is not explicitly prohibited.

Notes:
Although Delaware does not prohibit Internal Possession as defined by APIS, it has a statutory provision that makes it an offense for "[w]hoever, being under the age of 21 years, has alcoholic liquor in his or her possession at any time, or consumes or is found to have consumed alcoholic liquor." Del. Code Ann. tit. 4, § 904. Laws that prohibit minors from having alcohol in their bodies, but which do so without reference to a blood, breath, or urine test, are not considered as prohibiting Internal Possession as defined by APIS.

Underage Drinking: Underage Purchase of Alcohol

Purchase is NOT prohibited and there is no specific allowance for youth purchase for law enforcement purposes.

Notes:
Delaware does not have a statute that specifically prohibits purchase, but it does prohibit “obtaining” alcohol in connection with making a false statement. See Del. Code Ann. tit. 4, § 904(b). APIS does not include laws with such limitations in the Purchase policy topic.

Underage Drinking: Furnishing Alcohol to Minors

Furnishing is prohibited WITH THE FOLLOWING EXCEPTION(S):

  • private residence
  • AND EITHER parent/guardian OR spouse

Notes:
Delaware’s exception includes “members of the same family” and allows furnishing if in the “private home of any of said members.” See Del. Code Ann. tit. 4, § 904. APIS interprets the phrase “members of the same family” as including a spouse.

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

Beer: 19 for servers and 21 for bartenders
Wine: 19 for servers and 21 for bartenders
Spirits: 19 for servers and 21 for bartenders

Underage Drinking: False Identification for Obtaining Alcohol

Provision(s) targeting minors:

  • Use of a false ID to obtain alcohol is a criminal offense
  • No driver's license suspension procedure

Provision(s) targeting retailers:

  • Specific affirmative defense - the retailer inspected the false ID and came to a reasonable conclusion based on its appearance that it was valid

Notes:
Although Del. Admin. Code § 2 2000 2215 states that "persons under 21 years of age have noted on their licenses 'Under 21,'" research revealed no Delaware statute or regulation expressly requiring distinguishing licenses for persons under 21 years of age. This requirement is probably the result of an uncodified administrative decision not published in the Code of Delaware Regulations. Because APIS research does not address administrative decisions or directives that are not included in a State's published regulatory codes, no check mark appears in the Distinguishing Licenses column for Delaware.

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.

Underage Drinking: Use/Lose: Driving Privileges

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

  • Underage possession
  • Underage consumption

Use/lose penalties apply to minors under age 21

Authority to impose driver's license sanction

  • mandatory

Length of suspension/revocation: 30 days

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