A Minor in Possession of Alcohol or Drugs

MIP: A Minor in Possession of Alcohol or Drugs


Many states have laws for minors in possession (minor in possession, MIP) regarding alcohol and drugs in the possession of minors, regardless of whether they were using substances.

Some states apply strictly the laws of MIP and prosecute minors to the full weight of the law. However, in other states, a minor in a cause by MIP could not get in trouble and be on probation when entering a program of recovery ordered by the court and receive medical help.

Laws of MIP: what are they?

The state governments created laws for minors in possession to:

  • educate minors about the dangers of drinking and driving;
  • get the drug treatment and help for minors;
  • to achieve the participation of minors in the community service.

In California, offenders are first-timers who are sentenced for violations of the MIP can receive suspension of your driver’s license for a year. If the child does not have a license, the court shall order the Department of Motor Vehicles to not issue a license until after a year full of conviction of the lesser.

The laws of IPM in other states have punishments that are mild for a first offence, but increasing in severity in the sentences that follow. In Missouri, they can convict him of a violation of MIP if you simply appears to be intoxicated.

You do not have to be driving to convict for violation of a law of IPM. If you are holding a beer without opening and not old enough to drink according to the state, they can convict him for an offence of MIP.

You should not be legally drunk under the laws of your state regarding driving under the influence to get found guilty of MIP.

The fact that you:

1) is under the legal drinking age at the time of the citation and that
2) have you had alcohol in your possession or that
3) you have attempted to buy alcohol or
4) have you drunk alcohol

it may be sufficient to demonstrate that he has violated the laws of IPM in your state or the laws of another state in which you have been on a visit.

Violations of MIP and loss of your driver’s license

Some states require several convictions for MIP before you lose your license permanently. Other states, such as California, they can revoke your drivers license for a single offense of MIP.

Defenses to charges for minor in possession

Can be defenses against charges by MIP, but the validity of the defenses depends largely on the state and local laws.

Some defenses to charges by IPM include:

  • Not had alcohol in the container held by the minorThe burden falls on the defendant to demonstrate that the container he was holding had no alcohol.
  • The minor drank alcohol legallySome states allow young people of 19 and 20 years old to consume alcohol. For example, in Michigan, a 19-year-old might object to a fee for MIP by claiming that drank alcohol legally in Wisconsin or Canada where it is perfectly legal for him to drink alcohol.
  • The alcohol was consumed in a religious serviceIf a minor drank alcohol as part of a religious service (e.g., sacramental wine, wine of the Sabbath), could object to a charge for MIP.

If you or a loved one are facing legal charges for violating the laws of IPM in your state, they could mount a defense and object to the charge before a court.

It is very important that you contact a lawyer or specializing in cases of driving under the influence of substances, to know how it can help you or your family in a case for MIP.

Some of the statutory factors that a defense attorney of a minor in possession may review with you include:

  • if you or your loved ones, given the particular facts of your case, actually violated the law, local or state;
  • if the police force that arrested you comply with the law;
  • if your conduct was or is not a violation of criminal and
  • if you have an affirmative defense in the cause by MIP.

Know how a lawyer specializing in cases of driving under the influence of substances or a lawyer may be able to help you in an cause for a minor in possession.

To find a lawyer, use the tool “Find a lawyer” on this page, or click here.

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