Underage Drinking

Possession/Consumption/Internal Possession of Alcohol

Laws that prohibit underage alcohol possession, consumption, or internal possession (see Definitions), together with various statutory exceptions to these laws.

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Jurisdiction Policies as of Prohibition Exceptions
Family
Exceptions
Location
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Type of
Behavior
Conduct is
Prohibited
Parent/Guardian Spouse In Any
Private
Location
In Private
Residence
In Parent/
Guardian's
Home Only
Alabama (3526)
1/1/2019PossessionYes1 Citations
Alabama (3525)
1/1/2019ConsumptionYes1 Citations
Alabama (3600)
1/1/2019Internal Possession-
Alaska (3528)
1/1/2019PossessionYesOnly in combination with some Location exceptionOnly in combination with some Location exceptionOnly in combination with some Family exception2 Citations
Alaska (3527)
1/1/2019ConsumptionYesOnly in combination with some Location exceptionOnly in combination with some Location exceptionOnly in combination with some Family exception2 Citations
Alaska (3598)
1/1/2019Internal Possession-
Arizona (3530)
1/1/2019PossessionYes3 Citations
Arizona (3604)

INTERNAL POSSESSION: Although Arizona does not prohibit Internal Possession as defined by APIS, beginning on May 23, 2002, it has a statutory provision that makes it unlawful, "[f]or a person under the age of twenty-one years to have in the person's body any spirituous liquor." Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 4-244. 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.

1/1/2019Internal Possession-No Law
3 Citations
Arizona (3529)
1/1/2019ConsumptionYes4 Citations
Arkansas (3430)
1/1/2019PossessionYes1 Citations
Arkansas (3431)
1/1/2019Consumption-
Arkansas (3534)

Although Arkansas previously prohibited alcohol in the body of a minor from being deemed to be in his or her possession, beginning on July 27, 2011, Arkansas law has provided that intoxicating liquor, wine, or beer in the body of a minor will be deemed to be in his or her possession. See Ark. Code Ann. § 3-3-203(a)(2). 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.

1/1/2019Internal Possession-No Law
2 Citations
California (3432)

California's "Any Private Location" exception excludes possession in motor vehicles. California's statute regarding possession of alcohol by a person under the age of 21 years includes an exception for "responsible adult relative" but does not specify which relatives are included. APIS interprets the phrase “responsible adult relative” as including a spouse.

1/1/2019PossessionYesYesYesYes2 Citations
California (3433)
1/1/2019Consumption-
California (3606)
1/1/2019Internal Possession-
Colorado (3435)

POSSESSION: Colorado's exception requires the knowledge and consent of the owner of the private property when minors possess alcohol (in addition to the consent and presence of a parent or guardian).

1/1/2019PossessionYesOnly in combination with some Location exceptionOnly in combination with some Family exception4 Citations
Colorado (3434)

CONSUMPTION: Colorado's exception requires the knowledge and consent of the owner of the private property when minors consume alcohol (in addition to the consent and presence of a parent or guardian).

1/1/2019ConsumptionYesOnly in combination with some Location exceptionOnly in combination with some Family exception2 Citations
Colorado (3608)

INTERNAL POSSESSION: Colorado's exception requires the knowledge and consent of the owner of the private property when minors possess or consume alcohol (in addition to the consent and presence of a parent or guardian).

1/1/2019Internal PossessionYesOnly in combination with some Location exceptionOnly in combination with some Family exception1 Citations
Connecticut (3436)
1/1/2019PossessionYesYesYes3 Citations
Connecticut (3437)
1/1/2019Consumption-
Connecticut (3610)
1/1/2019Internal Possession-
Delaware (3439)

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.

1/1/2019PossessionYesOnly in combination with some Location exceptionOnly in combination with some Location exceptionOnly in combination with some Family exception1 Citations
Delaware (3438)

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.

1/1/2019ConsumptionYesOnly in combination with some Location exceptionOnly in combination with some Location exceptionOnly in combination with some Family exception1 Citations
Delaware (3535)

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.

1/1/2019Internal Possession-No Law
1 Citations
District of Columbia (3451)
1/1/2019PossessionYes2 Citations
District of Columbia (3440)
1/1/2019ConsumptionYes2 Citations
District of Columbia (3611)
1/1/2019Internal Possession-
Florida (3441)
1/1/2019PossessionYes2 Citations
Florida (3442)
1/1/2019Consumption-
Florida (3614)
1/1/2019Internal Possession-
Georgia (3443)
1/1/2019PossessionYesOnly in combination with some Location exceptionOnly in combination with some Family exception1 Citations
Georgia (3444)
1/1/2019Consumption-
Georgia (3616)
1/1/2019Internal Possession-
Hawaii (3445)
1/1/2019PossessionYesYes2 Citations
Hawaii (3536)

Although Hawaii does not prohibit Internal Possession as defined by APIS, beginning on June 19, 2006, it has a statutory provision that states that, "[n]o minor shall consume or purchase liquor and no minor shall consume or have liquor in the minor's possession or custody in any public place, public gathering, or public amusement, at any public beach or public park, or in any motor vehicle on a public highway" and that “"consume" or 'consumption' includes the ingestion of liquor." Haw. Rev. Stat. § 281-101.5. 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.

1/1/2019Internal Possession-No Law
2 Citations
Hawaii (3446)
1/1/2019ConsumptionYesYes2 Citations
Idaho (3448)

Idaho's exceptions relate specifically to the possession of beer or wine.

1/1/2019PossessionYesOnly in combination with some Location exceptionOnly in combination with some Family exception3 Citations
Idaho (3447)
1/1/2019ConsumptionYes1 Citations
Idaho (3621)

Although Idaho does not prohibit Internal Possession as defined by APIS, between July 1, 2000 and June 30, 2016, it had a statutory provision that made it unlawful "[f]or any person under the age of twenty-one (21) years to purchase, attempt to purchase, possess, serve, dispense, or consume beer, wine or other alcoholic liquor" such that "[a] person shall also be deemed to “possess” alcohol that has been consumed by the person, without regard to the place of consumption." Idaho Code § 23-949. 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.

1/1/2019Internal Possession-No Law
2 Citations
Illinois (3449)
1/1/2019PossessionYesYes2 Citations
Illinois (3450)
1/1/2019ConsumptionYesOnly in combination with some Location exceptionOnly in combination with some Family exception1 Citations
Illinois (3623)
1/1/2019Internal Possession-
Indiana (3453)
1/1/2019PossessionYes2 Citations
Indiana (3452)
1/1/2019ConsumptionYes2 Citations
Indiana (3626)
1/1/2019Internal Possession-
Iowa (3454)
1/1/2019PossessionYesOnly in combination with some Location exceptionOnly in combination with some Family exception2 Citations
Iowa (3620)
1/1/2019Internal Possession-
Iowa (3455)

Prior to July 1, 2014, Iowa law did not specifically prohibit consumption of alcohol by persons under 21, but only generally prohibited the use or consumption of alcohol by any person in a public place. Iowa added a specific underage consumption prohibition beginning on July 1, 2014.

1/1/2019ConsumptionYesOnly in combination with some Location exceptionOnly in combination with some Family exception2 Citations
Kansas (3457)

POSSESSION: Kansas has an exception permitting persons under 21 years of age to possess alcohol but the exception only applies to cereal malt beverages (defined as any fermented but undistilled liquor brewed or made from malt or from a mixture of malt or malt substitute, but not including any such liquor which is more than 3.2 percent ABW).

1/1/2019PossessionYes2 Citations
Kansas (3456)

CONSUMPTION: Kansas has an exception permitting persons under 21 years of age to consume alcohol but the exception applies only to cereal malt beverages (defined as any fermented but undistilled liquor brewed or made from malt or from a mixture of malt or malt substitute, but not including any such liquor which is more than 3.2 percent ABW).

1/1/2019ConsumptionYes2 Citations
Kansas (3627)

INTERNAL POSSESSION: Kansas has an exception permitting persons under 21 years of age to possess or consume alcohol but the exception applies only to cereal malt beverages (defined as any fermented but undistilled liquor brewed or made from malt or from a mixture of malt or malt substitute, but not including any such liquor which is more than 3.2 percent ABW).

1/1/2019Internal PossessionYes3 Citations
Kentucky (3458)
1/1/2019PossessionYes1 Citations
Kentucky (3459)
1/1/2019Consumption-
Kentucky (3629)
1/1/2019Internal Possession-
Louisiana (3460)
1/1/2019PossessionYesYesYesYes2 Citations
Louisiana (3461)
1/1/2019ConsumptionYesYesYesYes2 Citations
Louisiana (3631)
1/1/2019Internal Possession-
Maine (3462)
1/1/2019PossessionYesOnly in combination with some Location exceptionOnly in combination with some Family exception3 Citations
Maine (3463)
1/1/2019ConsumptionYesOnly in combination with some Location exceptionOnly in combination with some Family exception2 Citations
Maine (3637)
1/1/2019Internal Possession-
Maryland (3541)

Maryland's exception includes members of an individual's "immediate family" when the alcoholic beverage is furnished and possessed "in a private residence or within the curtilage of the residence." APIS interprets the phrase “immediate family” as including a spouse. See Md. Code Ann., Crim. Law § 10-117(c)(1) beginning October 1, 2002, and Md. Ann. Code 1957 art. 27, § 401A(c)(1) prior to October 1, 2002.

1/1/2019PossessionYesOnly in combination with some Location exceptionOnly in combination with some Location exceptionOnly in combination with some Family exception4 Citations
Maryland (3635)
1/1/2019Internal Possession-
Maryland (3564)

Maryland's exception includes members of an individual's "immediate family" when the alcoholic beverage is furnished and consumed "in a private residence or within the curtilage of the residence." APIS interprets the phrase “immediate family” as including a spouse. See Md. Code Ann., Crim. Law § 10-117(c)(1) beginning October 1, 2002, and Md. Ann. Code 1957 art. 27, § 401A(c)(1) prior to October 1, 2002.

1/1/2019ConsumptionYesOnly in combination with some Location exceptionOnly in combination with some Location exceptionOnly in combination with some Family exception2 Citations
Massachusetts (3464)
1/1/2019PossessionYesYes1 Citations
Massachusetts (3465)
1/1/2019Consumption-
Massachusetts (3634)
1/1/2019Internal Possession-
Michigan (3466)
1/1/2019PossessionYes2 Citations
Michigan (3467)
1/1/2019ConsumptionYes2 Citations
Michigan (3639)
1/1/2019Internal PossessionYes2 Citations
Minnesota (3469)
1/1/2019PossessionYesYes1 Citations
Minnesota (3468)
1/1/2019ConsumptionYesOnly in combination with some Location exceptionOnly in combination with some Family exception1 Citations
Minnesota (3641)

INTERNAL POSSESSION: Although Minnesota does not prohibit Internal Possession as defined by APIS, it has a statutory provision that makes it unlawful "[f]or any person under the age of 21 years to consume any alcoholic beverages" and further defines "consume" to " [include] the ingestion of an alcoholic beverage and the physical condition of having ingested an alcoholic beverage." Minn. Stat. § 340A.503. 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.

1/1/2019Internal Possession-No Law
1 Citations
Mississippi (3470)

Mississippi's Parent/Guardian exception applies to those persons at least 18 years old and only for possession of light wine or beer. The Location exception is not limited to persons between 18 and 21, and only applies to alcoholic beverages, not including light wine or beer.

1/1/2019PossessionYesYesYes4 Citations
Mississippi (3471)

Mississippi's Parent/Guardian exception applies to those persons at least 18 years old and only for consumption of light wine or beer.

1/1/2019Consumption-No Law
1 Citations
Mississippi (3646)
1/1/2019Internal Possession-
Missouri (3473)
1/1/2019PossessionYes4 Citations
Missouri (3472)
1/1/2019Consumption-
Missouri (3643)
1/1/2019Internal PossessionYes3 Citations
Montana (3474)

The parental exception to Montana's possession and consumption statute only applies to alcohol supplied and consumed in a "nonintoxicating quantity." In Montana, "intoxicating quantity" is defined as a quantity "sufficient to produce ... a blood, breath, or urine alcohol concentration in excess of 0.05 ... or substantial or visible mental or physical impairment." See Mont. Code Ann. §§ 16-6-305, 45-5-624.

1/1/2019PossessionYesYes2 Citations
Montana (3475)

The parental exception to Montana's possession and consumption statute only applies to alcohol supplied and consumed in a "nonintoxicating quantity." In Montana, "intoxicating quantity" is defined as a quantity "sufficient to produce ... a blood, breath, or urine alcohol concentration in excess of 0.05 ... or substantial or visible mental or physical impairment." See Mont. Code Ann. §§ 16-6-305, 45-5-624.

1/1/2019ConsumptionYesYes2 Citations
Montana (3647)
1/1/2019Internal Possession-
Nebraska (3476)

Nebraska makes an exception for persons who are at least sixteen years old to carry alcohol from licensed establishments when they are accompanied by any person who is not a minor.

1/1/2019PossessionYesYes5 Citations
Nebraska (3653)

Although Nebraska does not prohibit Internal Possession as defined by APIS, beginning on April 4, 2001, it provides that "...no minor may...consume, or have in his or her possession or physical control any alcoholic liquor...." See Neb. Rev. St. § 53-180.02. “Consume” is defined as “knowingly and intentionally drinking or otherwise ingesting alcoholic liquor." See Neb. Rev. St. § 53-103 prior to July 15, 2010, and Neb. Rev. St. § 53-103.11 effective on July 15, 2010. 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.

1/1/2019Internal Possession-No Law
5 Citations
Nebraska (3477)
1/1/2019ConsumptionYesYes5 Citations
Nevada (3478)
1/1/2019PossessionYesYesYesYes1 Citations
Nevada (3479)
1/1/2019Consumption-
Nevada (3661)
1/1/2019Internal Possession-
New Hampshire (3480)
1/1/2019PossessionYes1 Citations
New Hampshire (3524)
1/1/2019Consumption-
New Hampshire (3655)
1/1/2019Internal PossessionYes3 Citations
New Jersey (3482)
1/1/2019PossessionYesYes1 Citations
New Jersey (3481)
1/1/2019ConsumptionYesYes1 Citations
New Jersey (3657)
1/1/2019Internal Possession-
New Mexico (3531)

POSSESSION: In New Mexico beginning July 1, 2004, possession of alcoholic beverages by a person under 21 is specifically allowed when "a parent, legal guardian or adult spouse of a minor serves alcoholic beverages to that minor on real property, other than licensed premises, under the control of the parent, legal guardian or adult
spouse.”

1/1/2019PossessionYesOnly in combination with some Location exceptionOnly in combination with some Location exceptionOnly in combination with some Family exception2 Citations
New Mexico (3484)
1/1/2019Consumption-
New Mexico (3659)
1/1/2019Internal Possession-
New York (3485)
1/1/2019PossessionYesYes1 Citations
New York (3486)
1/1/2019Consumption-
New York (3664)
1/1/2019Internal Possession-
North Carolina (3488)
1/1/2019PossessionYes3 Citations
North Carolina (3487)
1/1/2019ConsumptionYes3 Citations
North Carolina (3649)
1/1/2019Internal PossessionYes2 Citations
North Dakota (3490)
1/1/2019PossessionYes1 Citations
North Dakota (3651)

INTERNAL POSSESSION: Although North Dakota does not prohibit Internal Possession as defined by APIS, beginning on August 1, 1999, it has a statutory provision that prohibits an individual under 21 from having "recently consumed" an alcoholic beverage. N.D. Cent. Code § 5-01-08. 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.

1/1/2019Internal Possession-No Law
2 Citations
North Dakota (3489)
1/1/2019ConsumptionYes1 Citations
Ohio (3492)
1/1/2019PossessionYesYesYes1 Citations
Ohio (3491)
1/1/2019ConsumptionYesYesYes1 Citations
Ohio (3665)
1/1/2019Internal Possession-
Oklahoma (3493)
1/1/2019PossessionYesYesYes3 Citations
Oklahoma (3667)
1/1/2019Internal Possession-
Oklahoma (4140)
1/1/2019Consumption-1 Citations
Oregon (3496)
1/1/2019PossessionYesOnly in combination with some Location exceptionOnly in combination with some Family exception1 Citations
Oregon (3495)
1/1/2019ConsumptionYesOnly in combination with some Location exceptionOnly in combination with some Family exception1 Citations
Oregon (3537)

Although Oregon does not prohibit Internal Possession as defined by APIS, it does prohibit "personal possession" of an alcoholic beverage. "Personal possession" includes the "consumption of a bottle of such beverages, or any portion thereof or a drink of such beverages." Or. Rev. Stat. § 471.430. 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.

1/1/2019Internal Possession-No Law
1 Citations
Pennsylvania (3498)
1/1/2019PossessionYes1 Citations
Pennsylvania (3497)
1/1/2019ConsumptionYes1 Citations
Pennsylvania (3671)
1/1/2019Internal Possession-
Rhode Island (3499)
1/1/2019PossessionYes2 Citations
Rhode Island (3500)
1/1/2019Consumption-
Rhode Island (3672)
1/1/2019Internal Possession-
South Carolina (3501)
1/1/2019PossessionYesYes5 Citations
South Carolina (3502)
1/1/2019ConsumptionYes4 Citations
South Carolina (3538)
1/1/2019Internal PossessionYesYes5 Citations
South Dakota (3503)
1/1/2019PossessionYesYesYes3 Citations
South Dakota (3675)
1/1/2019Internal Possession-
South Dakota (3504)
1/1/2019ConsumptionYesYesYes3 Citations
Tennessee (3505)
1/1/2019PossessionYes1 Citations
Tennessee (3506)
1/1/2019ConsumptionYes1 Citations
Tennessee (3678)
1/1/2019Internal Possession-
Texas (3507)

In Texas, a minor may possess an alcoholic beverage if the minor is in the visible presence of his adult parent, guardian, or spouse. Tex. Alco. Bev. Code Ann. § 106.05.

1/1/2019PossessionYesYesYes2 Citations
Texas (3508)

In Texas, a minor may consume an alcoholic beverage if it is in the visible presence of the minor's adult parent, guardian or spouse.

1/1/2019ConsumptionYesYesYes2 Citations
Texas (3679)
1/1/2019Internal Possession-
Utah (3510)
1/1/2019PossessionYes3 Citations
Utah (3509)
1/1/2019ConsumptionYes3 Citations
Utah (3539)
1/1/2019Internal PossessionYes4 Citations
Vermont (3512)
1/1/2019PossessionYes4 Citations
Vermont (3684)

INTERNAL POSSESSION: Although Vermont does not prohibit Internal Possession as defined by APIS, beginning on July 1, 2000, it has a statutory provision that makes it unlawful for a minor to, "consume malt or vinous beverages or spirituous liquors. A violation of this subdivision may be prosecuted in a jurisdiction where the minor has consumed malt or vinous beverages or spirituous liquors, or in a jurisdiction where the indicators of consumption are observed." Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 7, § 657. Laws that punish minors for displaying "indicators of consumption" or for "exhibiting the effects" of having consumed alcohol, but which do so without reference to a blood, breath, or urine test, are not considered as prohibiting Internal Possession as defined by APIS.

1/1/2019Internal Possession-No Law
5 Citations
Vermont (3511)
1/1/2019ConsumptionYes5 Citations
Virginia (3533)

POSSESSION: Virginia law provides for two separate family exceptions. First, Virginia permits persons under twenty-one to possess alcoholic beverages due to such person's "making a delivery of alcoholic beverages by order of his parent." APIS interprets the phrase “by order of his parent” as providing for parental consent. Va. Code Ann. § 4.1-305. Second, Virginia permits underage possession when an alcoholic beverage is provided to an underage guest in a private residence and the underage guest is "accompanied by a parent, guardian, or spouse who is twenty-one years of age or older." Va. Code Ann. §§ 4.1-305, 4.1-200. The second exception is limited to specific locations, but the first one is not. Because at least one of these exceptions is not conditioned on a specific location, APIS codes the Parent/Guardian exception with a check mark rather than a plus sign.

1/1/2019PossessionYesYesOnly in combination with some Location exceptionOnly in combination with some Family exception5 Citations
Virginia (3682)

INTERNAL POSSESSION: Although Virginia does not prohibit Internal Possession as defined by APIS, beginning onJuly 1, 2003, it has a statutory provision that makes it unlawful for a minor to "exhibit evidence of physical indicia of consumption of alcohol". Va. Code Ann. § 4.1-305. Laws that punish minors for displaying "indicators of consumption" or for "exhibiting the effects" of having consumed alcohol, but which do so without reference to a blood, breath, or urine test, are not considered as prohibiting Internal Possession as defined by APIS.

1/1/2019Internal Possession-
Virginia (3532)
1/1/2019ConsumptionYesOnly in combination with some Location exceptionOnly in combination with some Location exceptionOnly in combination with some Family exception5 Citations
Washington (3515)
1/1/2019PossessionYesYes2 Citations
Washington (3514)
1/1/2019ConsumptionYesYes1 Citations
Washington (3686)

INTERNAL POSSESSION: Although Washington does not prohibit Internal Possession as defined by APIS, it has a statutory provision that makes it unlawful for a minor to "be in a public place…while exhibiting the effects of having consumed liquor." Wash. Rev. Code § 66.44.270. Laws that punish minors for displaying "indicators of consumption" or for "exhibiting the effects" of having consumed alcohol, but which do so without reference to a blood, breath, or urine test, are not considered as prohibiting Internal Possession as defined by APIS.

1/1/2019Internal Possession-
West Virginia (3517)
1/1/2019PossessionYes3 Citations
West Virginia (3516)
1/1/2019ConsumptionYes3 Citations
West Virginia (3690)
1/1/2019Internal Possession-
Wisconsin (3518)
1/1/2019PossessionYesYesYes2 Citations
Wisconsin (3519)
1/1/2019ConsumptionYesYesYes2 Citations
Wisconsin (3689)
1/1/2019Internal Possession-
Wyoming (3520)
1/1/2019PossessionYesYesYes2 Citations
Wyoming (3521)
1/1/2019ConsumptionYesYesYes2 Citations
Wyoming (3540)
1/1/2019Internal PossessionYesYesYes2 Citations
United States (3523)

Please see Federal Law for this policy topic.

1/1/2019Possession
United States (3522)

Please see Federal Law for this policy topic.

1/1/2019Consumption
United States (3596)

Please see Federal Law for this policy topic.

1/1/2019Internal Possession