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State Profiles of Underage Drinking Laws

- Ohio -

Underage Drinking: Underage Possession of Alcohol

Possession is prohibited WITH THE FOLLOWING EXCEPTION(S):

  • parent/guardian
  • OR spouse

Underage Drinking: Underage Consumption of Alcohol

Consumption 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: 19 for both servers and bartenders
Wine: 19 for servers and 21 for bartenders
Spirits: 19 for servers and 21 for bartenders

Notes:
Although employees must be at least 21 years old in order to sell spirits, wine or mixed beverages across a bar, employees of any permit holder may sell beer across a bar if they are at least 19 years old.

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 an administrative 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
  • 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.

Underage Drinking: Prohibitions Against Hosting Underage Drinking Parties

Ohio has two Social Host laws:

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

    Action by underage guest that triggers violation: Possession Consumption

    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

    Exception(s):

    • Family

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

    Action by underage guest that triggers violation: Consumption

    Property type(s) covered by liability law:

    • Residence
    • Other

    Standard for hosts' knowledge or action regarding the party: NEGLIGENCE - host knew or should have known of the event's occurrence (in legal terminology this is referred to as "constructive knowledge")

    Exception(s):

    • Family

Notes:
In addition to the restrictions imposed on owners or occupants of public or private places, Ohio's provision regarding property states that no person shall engage or use accommodations at a hotel, inn, cabin, campground, or restaurant when the person knows or has reason to know that beer or intoxicating liquor will be consumed by an underage person on the premises. Owners or occupants of public or private places are held to a knowledge standard, while those who engage or use accommodations at a hotel, inn, cabin, campground, or restaurant are held to a negligence standard.



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