The Utah Court of Appeals ruled today that charges for supplying alcohol to minors should not have been dismissed against Xavier Morrison. The trial court dismissed the charges initially, reasoning that charging an 18-year-old with supplying alcohol to other 18-year-olds (who were actually slightly older than Mr. Morrison) would create an “absurd result.” The trial court interpreted the law against supplying alcohol to minors as meant to protect minors, not to be a basis for prosecuting them.
The court of appeals agreed that the law prohibiting supplying alcohol to minors was meant to protect minors but unlike other cases applying the “absurd result” doctrine, the crime here involves a clear perpetrator and victim so prosecuting the perpetrator is okay. Mr. Morrison obtained the alcohol on his own by doing a “Hey Mister,” where a minor asks an adult to purchase the alcohol for them. The court of appeals limited its decision to where the minor being charged was clearly the supplier–leaving open whether a minor could still be charged for supplying if the other minors participated in getting the alcohol.
For the full opinion click here: State v. Morrison
Underage Drinking and Supplying Alcohol
This case creates a good opportunity for parents to remind their kids, and to remind young adults in general, that underage drinking can have serious legal consequences. If a minor is caught supplying alcohol to their friends, not only will they be cited for underage drinking, they could also be charged with supplying the alcohol, a class A misdemeanor if they know their friends are underage.
If your minor is caught drinking underage, don’t hesitate to call an experienced juvenile and criminal attorney to help!