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Underage Drinking


The policy topics, below, address statues and regulations related to underage drinking and access to alcohol.

Possession is prohibited WITH THE FOLLOWING EXCEPTION(S):

  • parent/guardian
  • OR spouse

Internal possession is not explicitly prohibited.

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

Furnishing is prohibited WITH THE FOLLOWING EXCEPTION(S):

  • parent/guardian
  • OR spouse

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

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:

  • 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

BAC limit: 0.02 - a BAC level above the limit is per se (conclusive) evidence of a violation.
Applies to drivers under age 21.

Keg definition: 6 or more gallons


  • 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

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

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.

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).


  • Family

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.