General Question

esp86's avatar

I am 20 and just received an underage drinking ticket a few weeks ago, and I have a court date on Tuesday. Is there something I have to prepare to say to the judge to see if they will reduce the ticket or take a class so that it will be taken off my record or will they just suggest it? Can anyone who HAS experience with this please respond?

Asked by esp86 (17points) February 23rd, 2008
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19 Answers

jrpowell's avatar

Some info in there. If you have any questions after reading that ask here. I have three Minor in Possessions under my belt.

blunckhouse's avatar

How about paying the consequences and taking responsibility for your actions? Just a thought.

chad's avatar

Wow! I’m not the only one then, haha!

Esp86, my court date for underage drinking was on February 4th. I had no idea (aside from the suggestions and comments of other people online on sites such as Fluther) what I should do or what to expect. On the date of my hearing, I simply dressed up in nice church attire, and arrived 30 to 45 minutes early (so that I could ask around the building for extra help from people that may have known previous outcomes and instances of what I was going through).

Eventually we (everyone that was expected to be in court that day) were let into the court room, and we lined up in a row to talk to two people (sorry, I completely forget what their positions are), but I basically told them that I had no idea what I was supposed to do, and I ended up just saying that I would use my prayer-for-judgement (more on that later). Once everyone was done, and seated, the officers that issued the tickets showed up, and the judge walked in soon after.

To my horror, I was the first person called up (my last name starts with A), and I clumsily stood up, kind-of shaking, and I was asked to come forward. Walk towards the judge from the right-side of the room, and stand where they tell you to. If your court room was like the one I was in, you’ll probably move around to different locations two to three times (I was more confused about this and what was going on than anything else in my life, so if you get mixed up, don’t worry, it’s rediculous).

Anyway, about 30 seconds after I stood up, and walked forward, they read aloud that I was charged for underage drinking and what not, and the judge asked me if this was true or not. I responded by telling him that what I was charged for was true, and that I regretted my decision to partake in alcohol consumption. I also told the judge himself that I would be using my prayer-for-judgement, as I was not offered a community service deal, or a deal to take a drinking class.

The judge then, asked me if there was anything else I had to say about the matter, and I reitterated that I honestly had no plans of consuming alcohol (ha) for quite a while, and that if by any chance I did, I would not ride in a car where my life or the life of others was in danger. He looked as though he understood where I was coming from, and reduced my ticket from $145 to $100. I was then issued a document that I was asked to take to the cashier where I paid my ticket and was free to go.

By the way, if you are unsure about what a prayer-for-judgement is, here are two links that you’ll definately find helpful and

Sorry that this answer is so long, I just wanted to make sure that you (and anyone else that has to go through this) are able to understand what to expect and that you feel comfortable about going through this process. It’s really a million times easier to do than what you may be thinking, and really, when you leave and get it all done with, you’ll laugh at how stressed you made yourself feel over a stupid drinking ticket.

Good luck, and when you get it over with, please come back and post to let us know how everything turned out!

(Oh, and another thing, my prayer-for judgement lasts around 3 years, so while you only have a year or less (seeing as your already 20) before you can legally drink, I have way longer, so your in a much better situation as it is).

shockvalue's avatar

@blunckhouse, so you are under the impression that Americans can be old enough to die for their country, but not mature enough to drink alcohol before the age of 21? What knowledge do you have to say that esp86 was being irresponsible in their actions? And please, what consequences should be administered for drinking at an age less than twelve months away from an ignorance enforced nation wide legal limit? Which, I might at is more than five years past most of Europe. Allowing drinking at a younger age, in many cases, removes the “taboo” aspect of said act, consequently removing the desire to drink recklessly and to excess.

simone54's avatar

It’s obvious that dude in trying to get out of paying an consequences for his action.s That is being him being irresponsible. If you’re going to something you know is illegal you need to man up and be prepared to pay the punishment if you get caught. By the way, you don’t get caught unless you are doing something excessively stupid.

That old enough to die for country but not old enough to drink thing is bullshit. They are completely unrelated. People have been saying thing for years just because is SOUNDS like it has a point.

“and please” what facts do you have that an earlier drinking age removes to the desire to drink recklessly?

sndfreQ's avatar

@shockvalue: ” ignorance enforced nation-wide legal limit”? Here’s some not-so-ignorant facts you should read up on before making such assumptions about laws and their relevance; and in response to your statement, the same consequences should be applied to anyone under the legal drinking age.

“And please, what consequences should be administered for drinking at an age less than twelve months away from an ignorance enforced nation wide legal limit? Which, I might at is more than five years past most of Europe.” Suppose you tell that one to the judge? Sounds like a good enough argument-if you live in Europe.

I live and teach in a relatively young town (the majority of the families have children in middle and high school), and last year, one of our “star” 1st year college students-a 4.0GPA, hockey team all-star, volunteer in the community, was killed driving home from hockey practice by a wrong-way driver, who was both underaged and drunk. Until this kind of reality hits home for you, it’s easy to be selfish and judgmental about laws and rules.

Sorry to be heavy-handed, I personally have zero tolerance on this issue for the reason stated above.

chaosrob's avatar

Um, underage drinking is a crime. Joining the army isn’t. Pretty clear cut difference.

g1000's avatar

Did you know its MADD’s job to make sure that everybody equates underage drinking with drinking and driving? WHY thats how they got to amend the national drinking age to 21.
@sndfreQ, don’t quote MADD on facts. Everybody knows moms are the worst when it comes to hurling unsensible propaganda. IF it wasnt for MADD esp86 would be a free man with 100 dollars in his pocket.

Where is the harm in underage drinking? WHERE IS IT?

simone54's avatar

Everybody knows moms are the worst when it comes to hurling unsensible propaganda?

These are people who lost their kids!

g1000's avatar

Well that pays testament to their crappy parenting skills! When one kids gets hit by a drunk kid, some parents just fucked up.

The fact of the matter is to enforce a drinking age of 21 is an obvious abuse of power by WHOEVER enstated the law. And it is being held in place by a foundation of bullshit. I cant drink til im 21? I still cant smoke weed at any age! WHY? WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH DRINKING UNDERAGE AND SMOKING WEED?

simone54's avatar

Wow. I can’t believe all I already wasted that much time reading what you have to say.

I guess I learned my lesson.

g1000's avatar

All I’m trying to say is there should be a younger or no legal drinking age and you have given me no evidence to think otherwise. If it makes your pussy feel any better i think drunk driving should still be considered an attempt at attempted murder. And LEGALIZE IT!

shockvalue's avatar

Despite his crude demeanor, I understand what g1000 is trying to say.

Look, drunk driving is horrible, and an atrocity. But that is not the issue I was bringing up. It is foolish and ignorant to think anyone who is underage will drive drunk if alcohol finds its way into their hands. As for M.A.D.D. well, many of their “facts” are just that. It’s mad to think all children will drink and drive, just like it’s mad to think that anyone who smokes weed is funding terrorism or that if you give a kid a condom they will become an insatiable slut.

Sometimes you need to see propaganda for what it really is. Educate children on the effects of alcohol rather than banning it. And maybe you can take a second to review WHY some of these laws are in place. I think you will be surprised to find that fear mongering played a large roll.

chaosrob's avatar

I’d say that rather than whining so vociferously that the drinking age is “unfair,” you might want to do a little research and actually offer some reasoning in support of your point of view. Screaming “bullshit!” and “why?!” over and over isn’t an argument, its a tantrum. Having a tantrum in support of getting drunk or high is the kind of thing you’d expect from an addict, not an activist.

Meanwhile, the real issue in the original question comes down to the law. Underage drinking is a crime. He committed it. Deal with it.

pattyb's avatar

you can join the army, go to Iraq, have people try to kill you, and you try to kill them, and at the end of the day have a cold beer. Just dont crack one open here in the states. You can also take some friends who are 2 years younger than you. Makes me mad just typing this.

g1000's avatar

@chaosrob Bitch, I’m screaming “Why?” because nobody will answer my question. I scream “Bullshit” because I calls it like I sees it, and typing anything more would be redundant. So, I’ll continue to whine until you give me some tangible evidence to shut up. Some evidence other than some recent mother’s hollow cries for their dead children, that in the case of the OP cause even more suffering. So get on my level.

Here’s my thesis, you fucking ass: A drinking age is an authoritarian swipe at our rights; upholding a law that taxes responsible people to ease the suffering of blubbering mothers is immoral. Shut the fuck up all who oppose me for I am the conqueror.

shockvalue's avatar

hey “chaosrob” using five dollar words won’t help your case. you’re still a douche

Deal with it.

chaosrob's avatar

Bottom’s up, kids. I can’t imagine anyone making my point better than that.

setec's avatar

actually, the best advice for future persons reading this with the same issue as the author is to consult a lawyer. And I am not sure what state the author was cited in, but in PA the fine is not the big issue when you get cited, it’s the suspension of your driver’s license. A lawyer can review your case and maybe provide some decent defense depending on the circumstances. You normally risk more than a mere fine..

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