Underage Drinking

Rhode Island

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

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
  • 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 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:

  • Licenses for drivers under age 21 are easily distinguishable from those for drivers age 21 and older
  • Retailers are permitted to seize apparently false IDs
  • 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: Undefined gallons

Prohibited:

  • destroying the label on a keg - max. fine/jail: $500

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

Notes:
No particular volume or range of volumes is specified for kegs in Rhode Island.

Rhode Island has two Use/Lose laws:

  1. Type(s) of violation leading to driver's license suspension, revocation, or denial:
    • Underage purchase
    • Use/lose penalties apply to minors under age 21
    • Authority to impose driver's license sanction
      • mandatory
    • Length of suspension/revocation: 30 days
  2. 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: 60 days

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
  • Outdoor
  • Other

Standard for hosts' knowledge or action regarding the party: KNOWLEDGE - host must have actual knowledge of the occurrence

Exception(s):

  • Family