This week’s featured question was submitted for Merrill Police Chief Corey Bennett
The question reads:
“What is the true story behind being between 19 and drinking with parents? I’ve heard so much on both sides and I just want to make sure I have the right information. Is it legal for my 19 year old to have a few drinks at a private gathering with my husband or I? Out of curiosity, can he be legally served at a public establishment if we are with him? Thank you so much for clearing this up for us! Happy New Year to the men and women of the Merrill Police Department!”
Answer as given by Chief Bennett:
“The current statute reads that no underage person “not accompanied by his or her parent, guardian or spouse who has attained the legal drinking age” may possess, consume, or be on licensed premises.
“So yes, your 19 year old can possess or consume alcoholic beverages in your immediate presence and be served in your immediate presence at a licensed premise. However, (and this is the important part) this must be done with your knowledge and the underage family member should continue to be accompanied by you until all alcoholic beverages are eliminated from their system. It is also not a valid defense for the underage family member to operate a motor vehicle above 0.0 BAC. I hope that answers your questions. As always, if you have any questions, feel free to contact us at the PD (715) 536-8311”