Drugs, Alcohol and Smoking
Illegal possession of controlled substances (drugs) in the U.S. is subject to prosecution by law. The penalties for drug possession vary from state to state. Any type of illegal drug use while in the U.S. may have serious consequences. You may have to pay fines or go to jail if you are caught with drugs or people who have drugs, including prescription medications not prescribed to you.
You must be 21 years old to drink alcohol legally in the United States. If you are under 21, and are found with alcohol, you may be arrested and subject to fines. In addition, if you purchase alcohol for persons under 21, you can be arrested and subject to fines. Drinking alcohol in public areas is also illegal in many places. You will be subject to fines if found guilty. Many bars, restaurants, and liquor stores will only accept a driver’s license or non-driver identification card from the Department of Motor
Vehicles as proof of age.
Driving While Intoxicated (OWl) or Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
Do NOT drive a car if you have been drinking alcohol, and do not get into a car if the driver has been drinking. Not only is your safety in danger, but DWI/DUI laws are very strict. You might have to pay up to $10,000 or go to jail if found guilty of DWI/DUI. Americans often choose a “designated driver” when going out with a group of friends. This person agrees to not drink alcoholic beverages and drives the rest of the group to and from their destination.
Americans are likely to be much less tolerant of smoking than people in other countries. It is illegal to smoke in many public places, so look around you before you light up. No Smoking signs are usually posted in a clear, visible location. Smoking is restricted in office buildings, restaurants, and public transportation, among other places.