Thursday, November 7, 2013

"Underage" Drinking: Legal and Not, by Mikaela Kornowski

There are a number of ways for underage people to drink legally in Wisconsin.

Those under 21 can drink on alcohol-selling or private non alcohol-selling premises with parental consent. Consumption of alcohol for medical or religious purposes is also acceptable if accompanied by an adult or legal guardian. An underage person can also drink in the presence of a spouse 21 years old or more.

Although there are legal ways to underage drink, stricter punishment for different circumstances is being enacted.

Senate passed a bill allowing bar and liquor store owners to sue underage patrons or their parents for $1,000. Other underage drinking laws will remain unaffected by the new legislation.

The bill passed on a voice vote. The legislature previously passed the Assembly and is being sent to Gov. Scott Walker.

The measure allows liquor license holders to bring a civil lawsuit against underage customers or their parents. If the license holder wins in court, the customer or guardians will have to pay $1,000 to the establishment.