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

- Pennsylvania -

Underage Drinking: Underage Purchase of Alcohol

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

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

Notes:
In Pennsylvania, a minor who is 17 years of age who is a high school graduate or who is declared to have attained his or her academic potential by the chief administrator of his or her school district is deemed to be a minor of 18 years of age for purposes of the laws relating to the employment of minors by retail licensees.

Underage Drinking: Minimum Ages for Off-Premises Sellers

Beer: 18
Wine: 18
Spirits: 18

Notes:
In Pennsylvania, a minor who is 17 years of age who is a high school graduate or who is declared to have attained his or her academic potential by the chief administrator of his or her school district is deemed to be a minor of 18 years of age for purposes of the laws relating to the employment of minors by retail licensees.

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 suppliers:

  • It is a criminal offense to lend, transfer, or sell a false ID
  • It is a criminal offense to manufacture or distribute a false ID

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
  • 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: 0.00 - any detectable alcohol in the blood 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 purchase
  • 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: 90 days

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: KNOWLEDGE - host must have actual knowledge of the occurrence

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