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House of Representatives
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: March 31, 2016 08:44 AM
From: Representative Angel Cruz
To: All House members
Subject: Increase Penalties for Providing Alcohol to Minors
In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation that amends Title 18 (Crimes and Offenses) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes increasing the minimum penalty imposed for selling or furnishing alcohol to minors.

The minimum penalty in Pennsylvania was set in 1988 and upon conviction imposes a minimum fine of $1,000 for the first violation and $2,500 for each subsequent violation. My legislation takes into account the cost for inflation since 1988 and would increase the fines to $3,500 and $7,000 respectively. In addition to the fine, I am adding an option for minimum jail time. Depending on the severity of the case, either the fine, imprisonment, or both can be imposed.

These penalties reflect how dangerous underage drinking is. The leading cause of death among teenagers is automobile accidents and according to the American Medical Association, a study shows that in nearly half of all crashes, underage drinking is a factor. Additionally, underage drinking can be associated with homicide, suicide, an increased risk of physical and sexual assault, academic failure, illicit drug use and future problems such as alcohol dependence and other substance abuse. Despite these outcomes, the two leading ways for minors to gain access to alcohol is through unrelated adults over the age of 21 and parents, guardians and other adult family members.

Our children’s lives are our most precious assets. I ask that you join me by co-sponsoring this legislation, to show that Pennsylvania values the lives of its children. Thank you in advance for your consideration.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact my Harrisburg office at 717-705-1925.

View Attachment

Introduced as HB2045