California Business & Professions Code Section 25608 BPC: Alcoholic Beverages At A Public Educational Facility

1. Definition and Elements of the Crimealcoholic beverages

In California, it is against the law to possess, consume, sell, give or deliver any alcoholic beverage on the grounds of a public educational facility. Under California Business and Professions Code Section 25608 BPC, having alcoholic beverages at a public educational facility can result in misdemeanor charges.

A prosecutor would have to prove that the defendant unlawfully possessed, consumed, sold, gave or delivered to any other person an alcoholic beverage in or on any public schoolhouse or any of the grounds thereof.

A person would not be guilty of a violation of California Business and Professions Code Section 25608 BPC under the following circumstances:

  1. The alcohol involved was wine used as part of an instructional program in viticulture or enology.
  2. The alcohol was used in connection with a course of instruction by a person authorized to possess, acquire or use it.
  3. The “public schoolhouse” is surplus school property that is leased to another party and not used for education or recreation for those under the age of 21.
  4. The alcoholic beverage was served in a stadium that has a capacity over 12,000 people in a county with a population over 6,000,000 people for football games sponsored by a college or other events sponsored by non-college groups.
  5. The alcoholic beverage was acquired, possessed or used at a performing arts facility.
  6. The alcohol was served during an event at a time where students are not attending classes.
  7. The alcoholic beverage was served at a professional minor league baseball game conducted at the stadium in a county with a population of less than 250,000.
  8. The alcohol was served, possessed or provided as part of a culinary arts program.
2. Related Offenses

Other similar or related offenses include:

  1. Bringing Intoxicants into a Penal Institution – California Business and Professions Code Section 25603VC
  2. Loitering at a School – California Penal Code Section 653(b) PC
3. Examples

A man signs up for a culinary course at a local community college. The instructor supplies the students with cooking sherry and other alcohol-based ingredients as part of the course of instruction. Periodically, the class holds banquets and serves meals with wine to members of the community. Neither the man nor the instructor would be criminally liable under California Business and Professions Code Section 25608 BPC, as those associated with authorized culinary classes are exempt from prosecution under this statute.

4. Defenses to Alcoholic Beverages at a Public Educational Facility

As described above, there are several exemptions to California Business and Professions Code Section 25608 BPC that are written directly into the statute. If the defendant’s conduct fell within one of these exceptions, he or she would not be guilty of this offense.

5. How an Alcoholic Beverage at a Public Educational Facility Case is Defended

A charge for possessing, providing, selling or consuming alcohol at a public educational facility can arise out of a number of different circumstances. A campus police officer may catch a student on campus drinking alcohol or a detailed investigation may expose the unlawful sale or provision of alcohol beverages by an entity not authorized to do so.

A person charged would need to consult with a skilled Los Angeles criminal defense attorney right away. There are many exceptions provided under the law and an attorney may be able to demonstrate why the defendant’s conduct fell within one of these recognized exemptions.

6. Penalties

Unlawfully possessing, selling, consuming or providing alcoholic beverages at a public educational facility is a misdemeanor level offense. Those convicted can potentially be sentenced to serve up to a year in jail in addition to costly court fines. In addition, someone convicted of this offense would be barred from having or receiving any privilege of the use of public school property thereafter.

7. Criminal Defense for Alcoholic Beverages at a Public Educational Facility Cases

If you have been cited for possessing selling, consuming or providing alcohol at a public school or university, it is essential that you go over your case with a skilled Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney right away. Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer Michael Kraut is a former Deputy District Attorney with over 14 years of prosecutorial experience who is adept at fighting charges like this on behalf of his clients.

For more information about alcoholic beverages at a public educational facility, and to schedule your free consultation, contact Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney Michael Kraut at the Kraut Law Group located at 6255 Sunset Boulevard, Suite 1480, Los Angeles, CA 90028. Mr. Kraut can be reached 24/7 at 888-334-6344 or 323-464-6453.

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