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Corbett Signs Tougher Penalties on Underage Drinking

Teenagers partying in the South Side and Oakland will get hit with harder fines if cops find them with alcohol in their bloodstream.

Governor Tom Corbett signed into law legislation that increases fines for underage drinking and public drunkenness.

Senate Bill 941 sets the fee for both infractions to a maximum of $500 for a first offense and $1,000 for further offenses.  Currently the fine limit is $300 for first time violations and $500 for anything further.

State Senator Judy Schwank (D-Berks County) said the fines are designed to hit kids “in the pocketbook,” which is typically a place where they are light.

Schwank said homeowners shouldn’t have to be subjected to college students’ bad behavior.

“Residents that surround colleges tell me about, yes, the littering, the public drunkenness, the destruction of private property and public property.” 

Schwank said local police forces will welcome the law when it comes into effect and have been asking for similar legialstion.

 “This will actually give them resources to beef up their public safety forces, their police forces, so that they can address the problem of public drunkenness and keep students safe too,” said Schwank. “This is also an issue for students getting very, very sick from overdrinking.”

The law will officially go into effect on December 25th