Minor in Possession of Alcohol (MIP): Parental Notification, Defenses, and Fake IDs

MIP Underage Drinking

Lansing Michigan MIP and Alcohol Charges Defense Attorney

It my last blog entry we discussed Michigan’s MIP statute, the penalties, diversion options, and the constitutionality of the PBT requirements. In this article we discuss the how to avoid getting charged or convicted of an MIP, defenses to MIP, buying alcohol with a fake ID, and parental notification requirements.

How to Avoid Getting Charged and Convicted of MIP

Of course, the easiest way to avoid getting charged with MIP is to not drink or possess alcohol until you are of legal age. Aside from that… if you have been approached by the police and asked incriminating questions such as “have you been drinking?” remember, you do not have to answer those questions. No one ever has to talk to the police. Period. If you do, you do so as your own peril. The police can ask you anything they want, it’s your right to say no. Always be polite and never antagonize the police. Respond politely with something like, “Officer, I appreciate that you are trying to do your job, but I respectfully decline to answer those questions.” Always ask if you are being detained or if you are free to leave. If not, your attorney can later make the argument you were in police custody and therefore any incriminating statements you made should be suppressed as a Miranda violation. If you do not admit to drinking and refuse the PBT, the officer will have to gather evidence against you in some other means or move on to an easier target.

In short, do not answer any questions, do not admit anything, and do not submit to a PBT.

Obtaining Alcohol with a Fake ID

If a minor purchases or attempts to purchases alcohol using a fake ID, the minor is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by up to 93 days in jail and/or $100 in fines.

Parental Notification

If the minor is under 18, police must notify the parents or guardians within 48 hours of learning the minor’s age. If a minor under 18 is placed in jail for MIP, the parents or guardians must be notified immediately. This is only required if the police know the identity of the parents or guardians or if the identity is reasonably ascertainable. These notice requirements do not apply if the minor is emancipated.

Defenses to MIP

  • Employment—Minors may possess, but not consume, alcohol during working hours in the course of their employment by a licensed establishment.
  • Religious Ceremonies—Minors may consume sacramental wine with a religious ceremony or service (e.g. communion)
  • Accredited Postsecondary Education—Minors may consume alcohol in an academic building under the direct supervision of a faculty member if the purpose of the consumption is solely educational and it is a requirement of the course.
  • Undercover Operations—Minors may purchase or receive alcohol under the direction of law enforcement as part of undercover operations. Such agencies may not recruit minors at the scene of an MIP violation.
  • Not Against the Law in a Jurisdiction Where Consumed—If a minor consumed alcohol in a jurisdiction where they were lawfully permitted to do so, then they cannot be prosecuted under Michigan’s MIP statute. Note: this is an affirmative defense which is a rare instance in which the defendant has the burden of proof.
  • Submitting Yourself for Medical Treatment—If a minor presents himself to a hospital, medical facility, or police officer for medical treatment or observation after consuming alcohol , is not guilty of this offense

Lansing Michigan MIP Defense Attorney

Having an alcohol-related offense on your record can have a devastating impact on your future. Your career goals don’t have to come to a crashing halt because of a bad decision. Defenses may be available that could get your case dismissed. If dismissal is not an option, an experienced Michigan criminal defense attorney can help you get into diversion, HYTA, or a delayed or deferred sentence that will keep your record intact. If charged with MIP or any other alcohol-related offense, contact Austin Legal Services, PLC at (517) 614-1983 to speak to a Michigan MIP defense attorney today!

Defending minor in possession (MIP) and other alcohol offenses throughout Michigan in the counties of Ingham, Eaton, Clinton, Gratiot, Jackson, Livingston, Barry, Washtenaw, Shiawassee, Kent in the cities of Lansing, East Lansing, Mason, Charlotte, St. Johns, Ithaca, Jackson, Brighton, Howell, Hastings, Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids, Corunna, Durand.

NEXT: Minor in Possession: Penalties, Diversion, and PBT Requirements