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Orange County Defense Lawyers Protecting Your Alcohol and Liquor License

Alcohol sales are a key part of business plans for bars, restaurants, and pubs all around Orange County. We know that it's important for you to be able to serve alcohol, and a defense attorney from our firm will do everything in our power to help you regain your liquor license. If you own a business that's been accused of serving alcohol to minors, the criminal defense team at The Law Offices of Michael L. Guisti is ready to offer you the defense representation you need.

What is Furnishing Alcohol to a Minor?

As the name suggests, furnishing alcohol to minors is service alcohol to minors under the legal drinking age of 21. Because this involves a professional license, intent is not necessarily an element of discussion when it comes to furnishing alcohol to minors. It does not matter if you didn't know that the person was below 21 years of age; if you served alcohol to a minor, you could lose your license regardless of your knowledge or intent.

For serving someone under 21, you could face the following penalties:

  • A $250 fine
  • 24-32 hours of community service in an alcohol/drug treatment facility, or in a coroner's office
  • Alcohol license suspension by The Alcohol Beverage Control Department (ABC) for up to 15 days (first offense), 25 days (second offense), or life (third offense)

Shoulder Tap Program

The California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) has created the Decoy Shoulder Tap Program. This, according to ABC, uses decoy minors to see if stores are selling alcohol to underage individuals. Unlike certain illegal entrapment laws, the California Supreme Court ruled that minor decoys could be used by law enforcement to check up on licensed establishments.

There are certain defenses that could lead to possible reduction or dismissal of charges:

  • The minor possessed a bona fide, genuine government issued ID claiming legal age
  • The defendant had reason to conclude the ID was real
  • The defendant had reason to believe the minor was over 21
  • The minor who received alcohol look considerably older than their age
  • The person who checked the ID lacked proper training or capacity to recognize forged ID's (possible reduction of charges)

Call an Irvine Liquor License Attorney

As a business owner, being accused of serving alcohol to minors is a serious problem. You may lose your business license, your reputation, and a potentially significant amount of time and money. If you need a defense attorney in Orange County, you should call The Law Offices of Michael L. Guisti at (714) 530-9690 right away.