Caught Underage Drinking?


If you are caught underage drinking off campus, you can be cited for violating RI statue
§ 3-8-10 – Possession of alcoholic beverage by underage persons

-Getting cited for underage drinking is a violation, which technically is not a criminal charge like a misdemeanor. Violations are punishable by a fine of no more than $500 and do not carry jail time.
-Technically, in order to be proven guilty, an officer must witness you drinking, remove the actual drink from your hand, and then save a sample of the drink that must later test positive for alcohol.
-Underage drinking citations are rarely challenged in court and are usually resolved quickly.

Potential Penalty
First offense- $150 fine, possible 30-hrs of community service and/or 60-day license suspension
* In many cases, a judge may offer that you just pay the fine or in some cases a judge may order you to complete a 20-hour alcohol program called RYDD

What to do:

  • Remain calm and be polite – your behavior will be taken into account.
  • Keep your mouth shut! Anything that you say can and will be used against you
  • Comply with all orders given to you by law enforcement officers.
  • If given a form to sign, read all of it. If you are not comfortable signing something or answering a question, advise the officer(s) that you wish to speak with an attorney first.

What not to do:

  • Even if you believe what is happening is unreasonable, DO NOT talk back or give attitude. An officer can readily charge you with various criminal charges that cannot be resolved as easily as an alcohol citation. Be respectful.
  • Do not give any statements, confessions, excuses, etc. This will only work to your detriment. Regardless of what an officer tells you, remember, you are innocent until proven guilty.

Attorney: It is always best to consult with an attorney for any court proceeding. If you cannot afford to hire an attorney, the RI Public Defender’s Office may be available to assist you or you may contact the PC Student Advocacy Organization ( at least a week before your court date to obtain free representation.

Record: Violations are disposed of once you complete the requirements of your  sentence…this means that the case will be thrown out and expunged from your record.

Questions: If you have any questions or concerns involving contact with any police department or judicial proceedings contact the PC SAO at the email address listed above.


If cited in Providence you will have to appear for your court date at :
Sixth Division District Court
Garrahy Judicial Complex
One Dorrance Street
Providence,R.I. 02903
Courtroom 4E

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