The 19-year-old son of U.S. Sen. Rand Paul was charged with underage drinking and disorderly conduct after being arrested over the weekend at North Carolina's Charlotte Douglas International Airport, authorities said.
William Hilton Paul was arrested Saturday after a flight from Kentucky to North Carolina, according to the Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Office in Charlotte.
Authorities did not say whether Paul, of Bowling Green, Kentucky, was believed to have been drinking on the airplane or at the airport.
A spokesman for U.S. Airways said Paul was not served onboard.
"Our reports indicate that (Paul) slept through the drink service and was not served onboard," Andrew Christie said.
The senator's office released a statement calling the issue a private family matter.
"Sen. Paul is a national public figure and subject to scrutiny in the public arena, however, as many parents with teenagers would understand, his family should be afforded the privacy and respect they deserve in a situation such as this," according to the statement released late Sunday by Moira Bagley, Paul's communications director.
The younger Paul was charged with three misdemeanor offenses: disorderly conduct at an airport, being intoxicated and disruptive and consuming beer and wine underage. He is due in court on February 25, the Mecklenburg County court clerk's office said.
He has maintained a fairly low profile, appearing at a handful of campaign events alongside his father.
The first-term senator was elected in 2010 with strong tea party support, and in recent months he has publicly said he is interested in running for president in 2016.
Rand Paul is the son of retiring Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, who was the 1988 libertarian candidate for president and who made bids in 2008 and 2012 for the GOP presidential nomination under the mantle of libertarian conservatism.