RUMFORD – During upcoming high school graduations and throughout the summer, police here will be enforcing Maine’s liquor laws to promote safe travel.

By announcing the stepped-up enforcement, Chief Stacy Carter said Wednesday in a statement, the department hopes to reduce violations through voluntary compliance.

“With summertime close and high school graduations upon us, I found it imperative to get this message out,” Carter said.

“Alcohol is the drug of choice among both youth and adults in Maine, and is a factor in all of the leading causes of death for Maine citizens under 30 years old.”

He reiterated Maine liquor laws, stating that it is unlawful:

• for anyone under the age of 21 to possess liquor or imitation liquor, except when in employment or in a home in the presence of a parent or legal guardian. Pending conviction, fines are up to $500 plus a mandatory driver’s license suspension of 30 days for first offense, 90 days for 2nd offense, and one year for third.

• anyone knowingly furnishing liquor to a minor commits a Class D crime. Pending conviction, the fine is $500 or more – none of which can be suspended – if the violation involves someone under the age of 18.

If a person who has been previously convicted two or more times within a six-year period and commits a Class D crime, a fine of not less than $1,500 may be imposed, none of which can be suspended.

If liquor consumption by a minor causes serious bodily injury or death of the minor or anyone else, then that person has committed a Class C felony.

• to allow a minor under the person’s control or in a place under that person’s control to have or consume liquor is a Class D crime, for which a fine of not less than $1,000 may be imposed.

Prior conviction of this within a six-year period may draw a fine of not less than $2,000. Also, if liquor intake by the minor causes serious bodily injury to or death of the minor or someone else, it’s also considered a Class C crime.

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