General Assembly Vote Tracker

CJR – SB44 – Underage possession and consumption of alcohol

Senate Bill 44, sponsored by Sen. Laura Sturgeon and Rep. Minor-Brown, would make it clear that possession or consumption of alcohol by an individual under 21 years of age is a civil offense, rather than a criminal offense. It also would prohibit including information concerning a civil violation of the underage possession or consumption law on an individual’s certified criminal record. This bill recognizes that a mistake that nearly everyone alive has made (underage drinking) in their lives should not destroy a young person’s potential future with a criminal record.

This bill is part of the Criminal Justice reform package, and it was released from committee yesterday and is ready for a vote on the Senate floor.

WHERE IS THE BILL?  On the Senate floor ready for a vote as of 5/15/19.

DEMOCRATIC SPONSORS – Sturgeon, McBride, Minor-Brown, Schwartzkopf, Cooke, Carson, Chukwuocha, Heffernan, Kowalko, Longhurst, Lynn

REPUBLICAN SPONSORS –

YES VOTES – 

NO VOTES – 

Delaware politics from a liberal, progressive and Democratic perspective. Keep Delaware Blue.

3 comments on “CJR – SB44 – Underage possession and consumption of alcohol

  1. Guy Alexander VanderLek

    De-criminalizing under age consumption is a bad idea and will lead to more teen deaths and serious injuries on our highways. Youth must understand that actions have consequences.
    What kind of message are we sending to our youth with this terrible idea – it’s OK to consume and possess alcohol without real consequence?
    The Delaware Legislature has just approved raising the age for consumption of tobacco and vaping products 21 as response to a public health danger.
    Delawareans should consider teen driving under the influence is a much more significant and urgent public health danger – and not relax the penalties for these behaviors.

    • Delaware Dem

      Underage drinking will still be fined and will be a civil violation. However, should a 17 year old who gets caught drinking a beer at a party be sentenced to prison? No. And it also should be noted that this bill does not touch drinking and driving. If a 16 year old is caught drinking and driving, that is still a crime and he or she will be punished accordingly.

  2. TheVoiceOfReason

    I don’t disagree with keeping a mistake from following them forever – but, I have to point out that underage drinking never carried jail time.

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