Country Thunder draws huge numbers of attendees from across the United States. The festival provides a great time for people of all ages to come together and enjoy amazing performances. However, if you are a minor and decide to partake in drinking alcohol while attending Country Thunder, you could be on a course for trouble.
The organizers of Country Thunder are committed to protecting invitees to the event, which means exercising reasonable control over invitee behavior. Alcohol, mixed with high spirits, can often lead to trouble at festivals. As such, the organizers have a responsibility to protect those who simply want to enjoy the event in safety.
A group which is perhaps at most risk during the event is invitees under the age of 21. Event organizers bear much of the responsibility of ensuring that minors do not consume alcohol while attending Country Thunder, but that does not exonerate the minor if he or she is caught underage drinking. The minor will more than likely face a charge of “minor in consumption” (MIC).
Deployment of Liquor Officers
As many minors see Country Thunder as a private festival, they attend under the belief they can freely drink alcohol without consequence. State police and liquor officers, on the other hand, have other ideas. Due to increasing criminal activity at the festivals, largely related to underage drinking, law enforcement agencies have joined to create a task force of officers to address the problem.
The task force conducts regular patrols of the festival, often in plain clothes, specifically targeting underage drinkers. The efforts of the task force have produced results, as arrests for underage drinking and related offenses have significantly increased. For instance, in April 2013, officers arrested 189 minors at Country Thunder for offenses connected to the consumption of alcohol.
That means that as a minor attending Country Thunder, you are at increased risk of being arrested for consuming alcohol at the event even if you are otherwise acting in a responsible manner. The police task force makes no distinction between minors who are just having a good time and those who are openly engaging in more serious criminality. As a result of the efforts of the task force, arrests for underage drinking usually represent the highest among all offenses during the Country Thunder festival.
Consequences of Arrest
Consequences may include, but are not limited to, attending alcohol abuse classes, treatment or community service and fines. However, there is the potential for charges leading to the minor serving time in jail. You must also consider that you will be charged for any related offenses, such as using a fake ID to purchase alcohol, driving while under the influence or furnishing alcohol to a minor.
If charges are successful, it can have a serious impact on the rest of your life. Having criminal charges on your record can affect your ability to get a job, you can lose your driving license or you may lose your place in an educational institution for breaching the code of acceptable student conduct.
Fight Your Case
Even if you accept that you broke the law, it does not mean you are not entitled to fight your case. An MIC has far reaching consequences and is often taken too lightly by minors or their parents. There are many cases where you may escape the consequences of a MIC completely – especially if it is a first offense.
A lawyer can work to establish that you are a person of good standing and that the offense was a lapse in judgment. You may still need to attend various programs; however, once the court is satisfied that you are taking responsibility for your actions, the charges can be completely removed from your record.
Where charges are likely to result in a more serious consequence, a lawyer can work toward having charges dismissed or reduced. If you are not represented, the likelihood is that all charges will stick and you will face the full consequences under the law.
Matthew Lopez Law
Matthew Lopez has the experience necessary to represent you. Matthew has successfully represented minors who have been arrested for the possession or consumption of alcohol, so you or your child will be in the best hands possible.