Minor in Possession of Alcohol

Business and Professions Code 25662 BP makes it illegal for a minor to be in possession of an alcoholic beverage in a PUBLIC PLACE.

      • on any street or highway or
      • at any place open to the public.

Prosecutor must prove:

      1. The defendant was under the age of 21(at the time of the incident);
      2. The defendant possessed an alcoholic beverage; and,
      3. The defendant was on a street, highway, public place, or a place open to the public.

Defenses to a 25662 B&P charge:

Three common defenses are that the minor was:

      • following instructions of a parent (“affirmative defense”);
      • in a private place (complete defense); and/or,
      • immune from prosecution
          • called 911 and reported that he (or another person) needed medical help due to alcohol consumption
          • was the first person to make the emergency report; and,
          • remained on the scene until medical assistance arrived
      • law enforcement misconduct, such as a police officer coercing a confession. Note that it is not a defense that the minor never engaged in underage drinking.


A first-time violation of BPC 25662 is treated as an infraction.4 The offense is punishable by:

      • a fine of $250, or
      • 24-32 hours of community service.5

A second or subsequent violation is charged as a misdemeanor. The offense is punishable by:

      • a maximum fine of $500, and/or
      • 36-48 hours of community service.

Note that defendants under 18 years old would be prosecuted in juvenile court and face delinquency adjudications instead of criminal convictions.

Leave a comment

The information within this website is NOT LEGAL ADVICE but merely meant to be general information. Nothing in this website, nor filling out any forms on this website, shall constitute an attorney-client relationship.

Privacy Policy

Copyright 2023, Azami Law.  All Rights Reserved

Scroll to top