While it is still illegal for underage individuals to drink, possess, or buy alcohol, a new law was recently passed in North Dakota relaxing the penalties associated with the act. As of August 1, 2021, the penalty for minors changed from a Class B misdemeanor to an infraction. 

North Dakota Governor, Doug Burgum, signed HB 1223 into law, setting forth the update. 

Under the previous law, residents under the age of 21 who were found to have consumed, possessed, or bought alcohol, faced a Class B misdemeanor. The charge of which carried a maximum penalty of up to 30 days in jail and up to a $1,500 fine. Violators were also required to complete an intervention program. With the updated law, the maximum punishment is an infraction. The penalty still has the potential of up to a $1,000 fine but without the possibility of jail time. A judge maintains the discretion to require the completion of an intervention program but may decide it on a case-by-case basis. It’s important to note that repeat violators may still be charged with a Class B misdemeanor and could face up to a month in jail. 

This legislation was passed to bring the penalties of underage alcohol consumption in line with the current penalties for marijuana use in North Dakota. The bill does not affect any penalties for driving under the influence, however. 

If you are facing the criminal charge of underage consumption or possession of alcohol, it may be in your best interests to contact an experienced attorney so they can help guide you through the difficult process and ensure that you fully understand your rights and the implications of every possible outcome. Rosenquist Law Office is devoted to helping minimize your verdict through our relentless defense. Our attorneys have decades of experience in protecting clients and their rights. 

Contact Rosenquist Law Office today at (701) 775-0654 or email us at lawinfo@rosenquistlawoffice.com  *The information contained in this article and on this website is for informational purposes only. This information is not legal advice and should not be relied upon as so.