Bucco Introduces Legislation to Crackdown on Underage Drinking in Public Places

Bucco Introduces Legislation to Crackdown on Underage Drinking in Public Places

Senator Anthony Bucco has introduced legislation that would impose stricter penalties for possession or consumption of alcoholic beverages by underage individuals.

“Following the changes to the juvenile justice laws, many law enforcement officers are being left with unclear direction as to what, if anything, they can do to combat some of the underage drinking offenses primarily in our shore communities, but also throughout the state,” said Bucco (R-25). “This new law will better guide police on the handling of these matters, and hopefully help to quell any issues before they arise.”

Under Bucco’s bill, S-3633, any person under the legal age to purchase alcoholic beverages who possesses or consumes an alcoholic beverage in any school, public place, or motor vehicle is guilty of a disorderly persons offense and can be fined $500. The court may also require the individual to participate in an alcohol education or treatment program.

In addition, when the offense is committed in a motor vehicle, the court is required to suspend or postpone the driving privileges of the defendant for six months.

“This isn’t a partisan issue, it’s one that touches every one of us in our communities one way or another,” Bucco added. “No one wants to see a criminal charge affect the future of a young person, however we do have laws in a society, and we must abide by them. Hopefully, this bill will garner support from my colleagues on both sides of the aisle so that we can help reduce underage drinking and provide help to those that need it, before it is too late.”

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