Moorhead Police will crash the party around Moorhead’s college campuses to enforce underage drinking laws and charge adults who provide alcohol to minors during upcoming weekends. “We aim to set a tone for the year that underage drinking and providing alcohol to minors will not be tolerated,” says Lt. Joel Scharf.  “The dangers — binge drinking, alcohol poisoning, violent behavior and impaired driving — put college students and the greater community at risk.” 

Moorhead Police urge those younger than 21 to be fully aware of underage drinking penalties and remind adults there are serious consequences for providing alcohol to minors. An underage drinking citation in Clay County is $185 for a first offense, and can also require community service.  In Moorhead, it is a misdemeanor offense to allow underage drinking to occur at your house, apartment or dorm room. Misdemeanor offenses carry a maximum fine of $1,000 and up to 90 days in jail.

Adults who provide alcohol to minors will be held responsible and face serious criminal and legal consequences. They are also subject to civil liability in cases of injury, property damage or death. Civil liability is not covered by most insurance. If an adult provides alcohol to an underage person and that person is killed or injured, or if they kill or injure someone else, the adult can be charged with a felony and face time in prison.

Under the state’s “Not a Drop” law, if a driver under age 21 is cited for any amount of alcohol use they will lose their license for at least 30 days, face up to a $700 fine and 90 days in jail. Minors will lose their license until age 18 if they are arrested for DWI or involved in an impaired driving crash or crime. Trying to purchase alcohol with a fake ID can result in a loss of driving privileges for at least 90 days.

The Enforcing Underage Drinking Laws College Enforcement program is a federally funded campaign from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. The Enforcing Underage Drinking Laws College Enforcement program is administered by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.

Similar patrols will be conducted through the remainder of the year to enforce underage drinking laws and charge those providing alcohol to minors.