The Vermont Statutes Online
NOTE: The Vermont Statutes Online is an unofficial copy of the Vermont Statutes Annotated that is provided as a convenience.
NOTE: The online version of the Vermont Statutes does NOT yet include the actions of the 2023 legislative session. The 2023 updates should be available by the end of October.
§ 658. Sale or furnishing to minors; enabling consumption by minors; minors causing death or serious bodily injury
(a) A person shall not:
(1) sell or furnish alcoholic beverages to a person under 21 years of age; or
(2) knowingly enable the consumption of alcoholic beverages by a person under 21 years of age.
(b) As used in this section, “enable the consumption of alcoholic beverages” means creating a direct and immediate opportunity for a person to consume alcoholic beverages.
(c) A person who violates subsection (a) of this section shall be fined not less than $500.00 nor more than $2,000.00 or imprisoned not more than two years, or both. However, an employee of a licensee or an employee of a State liquor agency, who in the course of employment violates subdivision (a)(1) of this section:
(1) during a compliance check conducted by a law enforcement officer as defined in 20 V.S.A. § 2358:
(A) shall be assessed a civil penalty of not more than $100.00 for the first violation and a civil penalty of not less than $100.00 nor more than $1,000.00 for a second violation that occurs more than one year after the first violation; and
(B) shall be subject to the criminal penalties provided in this subsection (c) for a second violation within a year of the first violation, and for a third or subsequent violation within three years of the first violation.
(2) may plead as an affirmative defense that:
(A) the purchaser exhibited and the employee carefully viewed photographic identification that complied with section 589 of this title and indicated the purchaser to be 21 years of age or older;
(B) an ordinary prudent person would believe the purchaser to be of legal age to make the purchase; and
(C) the sale was made in good faith, based upon the reasonable belief that the purchaser was of legal age to purchase alcoholic beverages.
(d)(1) A person who violates subsection (a) of this section, where the person under 21 years of age, while operating a motor vehicle, snowmobile, vessel, or all-terrain vehicle on a public highway, public land, or public waters, or in a place where a Vermont Association of Snow Travelers (VAST) trail maintenance assessment or a Vermont ATV Sportsman’s Association (VASA) Trail Access Decal is required, causes death or serious bodily injury to himself or herself or to another person as a result of the violation, shall be imprisoned not more than five years or fined not more than $10,000.00, or both.
(2) As used in this subsection:
(A) “All-terrain vehicle” shall have the same meaning as set forth in 23 V.S.A. § 3501.
(B) “Public land” means all land in Vermont that is either owned or controlled by a local, State, or federal governmental body.
(C) “Public waters” shall have the same meaning as in 10 V.S.A. § 1422.
(D) “Snowmobile” shall have the same meaning as set forth in 23 V.S.A. § 3201.
(E) “Vessel” shall have the same meaning as set forth in 23 V.S.A. § 3302. (Amended 1981, No. 246 (Adj. Sess.), § 3; 1997, No. 117 (Adj. Sess.), § 5; 1999, No. 163 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 2001, No. 63, § 65a, eff. June 16, 2001; 2017, No. 83, § 114; 2017, No. 158 (Adj. Sess.), § 16, eff. May 21, 2018; 2019, No. 73, § 12.)