Pennsylvania laws that identify crimes and penalties related to underage drinking are mainly found in the Liquor Code, the Crimes Code, and the Vehicle Code. Below are summaries of the various offenses for minors and adults related to underage drinking. The penalties referenced below apply to adults age 18 and older, except as otherwise indicated; minors under 18 would also face penalties for such crimes, but those penalties are adjudicated under the Juvenile Code.

Illustration of a dinner party with a kid holding a glass of wine.

2 in 5 PA parents find it acceptable for kids to drink alcohol on "special occasions"

About the same percentage of parents (37%) believe it’s natural for children to experiment with alcohol and trust their child to experiment responsibly.

Tip: To help your child avoid the risks associated with alcohol, it’s important to learn the facts. It’s illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to drink alcohol – regardless of the situation. And children who begin drinking at an early age can be four times more likely to have problems with alcohol later in life.

Dear Parent

Don’t expect your child to remember everything you’ve talked about. Use repetition to reinforce key points.