Wisconsin drinking laws for minors can be a little bit confusing – but if your child has been caught drinking, here’s what you need to know about what happens next.
Wisconsin Drinking Laws for Minors
In Wisconsin – just like in the rest of the U.S. – minors under the age of 21 aren’t allowed to drink alcohol. But there’s a slight change from the norm in Wisconsin, and it’s a little-known and often-misunderstood law that says if teens are in a public establishment with their parents, and if their parents consent, it’s legal to serve them alcohol.
A lot of bars have more stringent restrictions, though. For example, Mike McNerney, who owns Green Bay Distillery, says, “Even if you’re with your parents, it’s our discretion that you have to be 21 to drink in our establishment.” The main reasoning behind it is liability. “We can’t control those people as they leave our restaurant and what they do after the restaurant and we want to make sure we limit our liability for what we do here at Green Bay Distillery,” McNerney said.
If drinkers are over the age of 21, bars aren’t responsible for “mayhem” caused by the people they serve – but when drinkers are under the age of 18, the people serving them can be held liable and convicted of felonies.
What About Minor in Possession Laws?
Minors can’t drink without parents in Wisconsin – and when a minor is in possession of alcohol (or consumes alcohol), he or she can be charged with a crime. If you’re charged with an MIP, the state can fine you, revoke or suspend your driver’s license, or require you to complete community service.
Do You Need to Talk to a Lawyer About Wisconsin Drinking Laws for Minors?
If you’ve been accused of a crime related to drinking, or if you’re a parent seeking help for your child, we’re here. Call us at 414-383-6700 to schedule a free consultation today.