As a parent, have you ever worried about your minor child getting their hands on alcohol somehow? Whether it happens at a friend’s house or at some event you weren’t aware of, unfortunately, it DOES happen. That being said, our MIP lawyers in Mid-Missouri are here to explain what exactly a Minor in Possession means and the punishments for that crime, in this week’s blog. If you have any questions, please give us a call at 573-346-9990.
What is MIP?
When a minor (anyone under the age of the legal drinking limit of 21 years) has physical alcohol on their person or appears to be intoxicated, they can be charged with a criminal misdemeanor. Minor in possession, abbreviated as “MIP,” can be charged for a variety of different acts in the state of Missouri. These include:
- Being in possession or constructive possession (i.e. in your car) of an alcoholic beverage
- Purchasing or attempting to purchase alcohol
- Appearing visibly intoxicated/possession by consumption
Even if a minor does not have any physical alcohol in their possession, a blood alcohol level (BAC) of more than two-hundredths of one percent (what could be one small sip of an alcoholic drink) can lead to an arrest and charges of MIP.
Punishment for Underage Drinking
Missouri courts of law take MIP charges very seriously, and the punishments for a MIP conviction are also quite severe. Under Missouri law, minors (16-20 years old) who plead guilty to or are convicted of MIP will face the following penalties:
1st Offense – Classified as a Class D Misdemeanor. Driver’s license suspended for 30 days and offense carries up to $300 in fines.
2nd Offense – Classified as a Class A Misdemeanor. Driver’s license suspended for 90 days and offense carries up to one year in jail and $1000 in fines.
3rd or Any Subsequent Offense – Classified as a Class A Misdemeanor. Driver’s license revoked for one year and offense carries up to one year in jail and $2000 in fines.
A MIP conviction has the potential to stay on your permanent record for life, so it is critical that you have exceptional legal representation if you or your child has been charged with possession of alcohol. Minors are required to retest for their driver’s licenses upon reinstatement if their driving privilege was revoked. They are not required to retest upon reinstatement if their driving privilege was suspended unless their driver’s licenses expired during the suspension period and have been expired for more than six months (184 days).
Contact Deputy & Mizell, LLC to schedule your private (FREE) consultation today.
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