The legal age to consume alcohol in Pennsylvania is one of the most widely known laws in the state. Simply put, it is illegal for people under the age of 21 to possess or consume alcoholic beverages. A person who violates the law could be subject to mandatory fines, alcohol treatment programs or both. This is in addition to having a criminal record that can follow you for years.
Because the violation of underage drinking statutes is a strict liability offense (i.e., no intent is required to be proven), most may believe that they are immediately guilty, but this may not always be the case. Pennsylvania law allows for several affirmative defenses that can be asserted to avoid a conviction.