Maine LawsFor Teens: Illegal Possession
It is a civil violation* for any person under the age of 21 to possess liquor or imitation liquor except if it is within the scope of their employment or in their home in the presence of their parent. Fines for illegal possession are as follows:
- 1st Offense $200 to $400
- 2nd Offense $300 to $600
- 3rd or Subsequent Offenses $600
Illegal Transportation of Liquor
No person under the age of 21 shall transport alcoholic beverages in a motor vehicle except in the scope of their employment or at the request of their parent. The penalties for illegal transportation are:
- 1st Offense 30 day license suspension and a fine of no more than $500;
- 2nd Offense 90 day license suspension and a fine of not less than $200; and
- 3rd Offense One year license suspension and a fine of not less than $400.
Note: You cannot be charged for both possession and transportation for the same violation. Law enforcement must charge for transportation when a minor is caught driving with alcohol in the motor vehicle.
The Teen OUI Law (Zero Tolerance)
Any motor vehicle operator under 21 who operates or attempts to operate a motor vehicle with any alcohol in their blood* shall have their license suspended by the Secretary of State for one year. If they have a passenger under 21, an additional 180-day suspension will be imposed. Refusal to be tested will result in suspension of their operator's license for at least 18 months.
* Minors who test .08 percent or more will be prosecuted with the criminal offense of Operating Under the Influence, which results in even greater consequences.
Furnishing Liquor or Imitation Liquor to a Minor
It is a criminal offense for any person, adult or minor, to furnish liquor or imitation liquor to a minor, or allow a minor under that person's control, or in any place under that person's control, to possess or consume liquor or imitation liquor. This offense may result in fines from $500 to $2,000 and/or a jail sentence for up to 12 months. If an injury or death occurs, the person responsible for furnishing the alcohol may be charged with a felony and could be sued under the Maine Liquor Liability Act.
Maine Liquor Liability Act
The Maine Liquor Liability Act provides a way to pay for the cost of damages that result from alcohol-related incidents. Anyone who sells, gives, or otherwise provides liquor to an individual, whether they hold a Maine Liquor License or not, can be sued for negligent or reckless conduct under this lay.
Negligent conduct is defined as service liquor to someone you know is a minor or intoxicated as defined by law.
Reckless conduct is the intentional serving of liquor to a minor or a visibly intoxicated person when the server knows and conscieously disregards an obvious and substantial risk that serving liquor to that person will cause physical harm to the drinker or to others.
Repayment may be awarded for property damage, bodily injury, or death caused by the consumption of liquor served by the defendant. The limit on awards is $250,000 plus limitless medical expenses.
If you are sued as a result of providing alcohol to a minor or visibly intoxicated person, which is a violation of the law, your homeowner's insurance will not protect you.
Allowing minors other than your own children to drink alcohol in your home (even if you do not supply the alcohol) is a criminal offense, which may result in fines or even jail sentencing.