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Underage Alcohol Possession Laws

Section 436.1703 of the Michigan Compiled Laws outlines our state's rules regarding underage alcohol purchase, possession and consumption. Under this statute, it is illegal for a person under the age of 21 to:

  • Purchase or attempt to purchase alcohol
  • Consume or attempt to consume alcohol
  • Possess or attempt to possess alcohol

A violation of this statute is considered a misdemeanor and will be charged as minor in possession, often referred to as MIP.

Penalties for Minor in Possession Conviction

If found guilty of an MIP charge, the penalties can include:

  • A fine of no more than $100.
  • Community service
  • Substance abuse education or treatment

For a second conviction, you may face up to 30 days in jail and a fine of up to $200, along with community service and/or substance abuse treatment. Upon athird conviction, the potential jail time increases to 60 days and the fine may reach $500.

Attempting to Purchase With Fake ID

Michigan's statute also makes it unlawful for a minor to use a fake ID to purchase or attempt to purchase alcohol. Violation of this law can result in up to 93 days in jail and a fine of up to $100.

Exceptions to This Statute

There are certain exceptions to the underage alcohol statute. For instance, it is not unlawful for a minor to consume alcohol as part of a religious service.

MIP and Your Criminal Record

If you are underage and facing an MIP charge, it is important to consider the fact that a conviction will be permanently reported on your criminal record, following you into adulthood and potentially impacting your educational opportunities and job prospects. This is why it is imperative that you consult an experienced defense attorney who can help you obtain the best possible outcome in your case and minimize the potential impacts on your future.

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