Drinking law OK’d

A new city ordinance making the first underage drinking a civil infraction instead of a misdemeanor will take effect on Jan. 1, after second reading on Nov. 27.
The revised city Ordinance 133 on underage drinking of alcoholic beverages makes alcohol purchase, possession, and consumption by minors a civil infraction, like a traffic ticket, punishable by not more than a $100 fine for a first offense, with options for community service and treatment classes.
A second offense would be a misdemeanor, with imprisonment of up to 30 days, with treatment and community service and fine of up to $200. Third or more, up to 60 days and $500 fine. Fraudulent identification by a minor would remain a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 93 days in jail and/or $100 fine.
The new ordinance reflects changes to state law also taking effect at the start of the new year.

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