Two bills seek to reduce penalties for underage drinking in ND

State News

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Underage drinking in North Dakota ranks among the highest in the nation. A pair of bills being considered by the Legislature would do away with the prospect of jail time for offenders and also give a judge discretion whether to order treatment.

One bill would make the penalty for underage drinking an infraction that would be punishable by up to a $1,000 fine.

Democratic Rep. Zachary Ista says his bill is intended to bring the penalty for underage drinking in line with the sanction for marijuana use.

The bill has bipartisan support and came at the request of some judges.

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