only offenses punishable in juvenile courts and the civil penalties created in some states for possession of marijuana (Bonnie, 1977).
Recommendation 9-14: States should establish administrative procedures and noncriminal penalties, such as fines or community service, for alcohol infractions by minors.
States might also want to consider immediate administrative driver license revocation, not just for driving-related alcohol infractions, but also for consumption, possession, or attempted purchase of alcohol by minors. However, the use of license revocation as a penalty for offenses unrelated to driving raises constitutional concerns and also would be accompanied by higher litigation costs than other penalties (see Hafemeister and Jackson, 2004).
In summary, the committee believes that state access restrictions, and their enforcement, should be strengthened, with existing ambiguities clarified, and loopholes removed. At the same time, however, the penalties for violations by underage drinkers should be reduced, thereby facilitating the use of less costly procedures and more widespread and consistent enforcement. Overall, this approach should be welcomed by parents because it will solidify and clarify the legal prohibitions, while removing the fear of excessive punishment.
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Reducing Underage Drinking: A Collective Responsibility . Washington, DC: The National Academies Press,
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