Michigan Underage Drinking Laws

MINOR IN POSSESSION OF ALCOHOL (MIP)

Unlike a Civil Infraction where you’d receive for speeding ticket, a Michigan MIP Civil Infraction comes with a lot of strings attached. Specifically, even for a first offense under subsection (1) of Michigan’s MIP State Civil Infraction, a minor can still be ordered to participate in substance use disorder services which includes both preventative services and rehabilitative services, see MCL 333.6230(c); the minor could also be ordered to submit to a Substance Abuse Screening and Assessment (which is a self-reported inquiry used to evaluate your client’s substance abuse problems or lack thereof); and the minor could also be ordered to complete an unspecified number of community service hours.

BREATH TESTING MINORS

Michigan law, MCL 436.1703(7), requires police officers to first obtain a minor’s consent or a court order before attempting to administer a preliminary chemical breath test (PBT). There is no penalty (fine/ticket/points) for a non-driving minor who does not agree to take a PBT.

PARTY BUSES, PROM & GRADUATION PARTIES

Although underage drinking may not land a minor in jail, it could still cause a minor to be suspended or expelled from school, and “cool parents” can still be arrested for allowing the minor(s) to consume alcohol and/or for allowing underage minors to consume alcohol in your home (regardless if you’re present or not).

Teen Tips: Be Smart. Don’t show up drunk to school events. Don’t piss off the limo driver – they will call the police (and you’re pretty much already held captive). Don’t miss the dance for a drink. Thank your parents for the new independence that comes with graduation – and don’t blow it by getting busted after graduation and before the first semester of college. When in doubt, #CallKelly

DON’T TAKE THESE TICKETS LIGHTLY!

Be aware the new MIP State Civil Infraction can only be used once. Any subsequent underage drinking violations become Misdemeanor violations. Even though a first-offense MIP is only a State Civil Infraction, for purposes of enhancing a subsequent MIP to a Misdemeanor, the MIP State Civil Infraction counts as a “prior judgment” under subsection (1)(b). Don’t assume the ticket is meaningless once it’s been paid. If there are circumstances surrounding the issuance of the MIP ticket that you think are relevant, you should contact an attorney to discuss the matter before paying the ticket.

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Criminal Defense Attorney Mike Kelly

Michele Kelly

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