Minor in Possession/Selling or Giving Alcohol to a Minor

The legal drinking age in New Mexico is 21.  It is illegal for anyone under 21 to consume or be provided with alcohol.

New Mexico has divided the crime of minors consuming alcohol into two basic categories: the child who possessed/consumed the alcohol and the adult who provided the alcohol.

Minor in Possession

A minor who consumes or possesses alcohol, they may be charged and face the following penalties:

First violation, the offender shall be:

(a) fined an amount not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000); and
(b) ordered by the sentencing court to perform thirty hours of community service related to reducing the incidence of driving while under the influence of intoxicating liquor;

Second violation, the offender shall:

(a) be fined an amount not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000);

(b) be ordered by the sentencing court to perform forty hours of community service related to reducing the incidence of driving while under the influence of intoxicating liquor; and

(c) have his driver’s license suspended for a period of ninety days. If the minor is too young to possess a driver’s license at the time of the violation, then ninety days shall be added to the date he would otherwise become eligible to obtain a driver’s license; and

Third or subsequent violation, the offender shall:

(a) be fined an amount not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000);

(b) be ordered by the sentencing court to perform sixty hours of community service related to reducing the incidence of driving while under the influence of intoxicating liquor; and

(c) have his driver’s license suspended for a period of two years or until the offender reaches twenty-one years of age, whichever period of time is greater.

Selling/Giving Alcohol to a Minor

When an adult sells or gives alcoholic beverages to a minor, they may be charged with a fourth degree felony.

There are statutory exceptions to this crime under certain circumstance when: a parent provides alcohol to their child and when the alcoholic beverages are used in the practice of religious beliefs.

Normally, these charges involve young people who have behaved inappropriately by providing alcohol to friends.  McGraw & Strickland’s first concern in these cases is keeping the accused from having a conviction on his or her record, which can have devastating and lasting consequences.

The lawyers at McGraw & Strickland have handled many of these cases, with successful outcomes that have kept the client out of jail and with a clean record.

Contact Us

Phone: (575) 523-4321
Fax: (575) 680-1200
Mollie McGraw Esq. mollie@lawfirmnm.matejkamarketing.com
Margaret Strickland Esq. margaret@lawfirmnm.matejkamarketing.com