Under Age Drinking and Possessing Alcohol

It is illegal for any person under the age of 21 to purchase, attempt to purchase or have alcoholic beverages in their possession or under their control in a public.

When is it legal for a person under age to have/use alcohol?

Iowa law does not prohibit minors from possessing or consuming alcohol if:

  • The alcohol was given to the underage minor in a private home with the consent of his or her parent or guardian.
  • The alcohol was administered by a doctor for medicinal purposes.
  • The minor handled alcoholic beverages during the course of his or her employment in a licensed facility.

Underage Use of a Fake ID to Obtain Alcohol

If you are under the age of 21 and you display, alter, or possess a fictitious driver’s license for the purpose of obtaining alcohol, you will lose your driver’s license for up to six months. It is a simple misdemeanor and the penalty is a fine of $200.

Licensed Establishments & Employees Furnishing or Selling Alcohol to Minors

It is a crime for a licensed establishment or its employees to give or sell alcoholic beverages to anyone under the age of 21. It is the obligation of the establishment and its employees to use reasonable care in ensuring that the person is of legal drinking age before serving or selling alcoholic beverages.

The penalties for doing so are significant.

Selling Alcohol to Minors — Criminal Penalties

It is illegal for a business with a liquor license (and those under the employment of a business with a liquor license) to give or sell alcoholic beverages to a person under 21.