In New Hampshire an underage person with drinks in his or her system can face the same charge as one with a drink in their hand.

In 2002, the state legislature expanded the old underage-possession statute to apply to those “intoxicated by consumption of an alcoholic beverage.” The offense is on the same level as a traffic violation, but carries a $300 fine and the possible loss of a driver’s license.

The law has proven very affective, with about half of New Hampshire’s 6,000 cases of underage-possession in a typical year being brought to courts through the statute.