Michigan law prohibits anyone under the age of 21 from possession or using alcohol or from having any bodily alcohol content.
Specifically, MCL 436.17(1) provides that “[a] minor shall not purchase or attempt to purchase alcoholic liquor, consume or attempt to consume alcoholic liquor, possess or attempt to possess alcoholic liquor, or have any bodily alcohol content . . . .” A first offense MIP is a misdemeanor; however you cannot be put in jail for a first offense. You can be placed on probation and fined. Second and subsequent convictions may carry a jail sentence under certain circumstances.
MIP is a crime — it will appear on a background check
Since MIP is a misdemeanor, it will appear on a computerized criminal history (CCH) in Michigan when a prospective employer does a background check.
Police cannot force you to submit to a breath test
If you were told by a police officer that you were required to submit to a preliminary breath test (PBT) and that refusal would result in a civil infraction ticket and fine, you were lied to. A recent opinion by the Michigan Court of Appeals People of the City of Troy v Chowdhury, 285 Mich App 509; 775 NW2d 845 (2009) held that provisions in laws requiring minors to submit to a breath test without a search warrant were unconstitutional. This issue was also recognized by Platte v Thomas Twp, 504 F.Supp2d 227 (2007).
If the police officer told you that you were required to take a breath test or if you were forced or coerced into taking the breath test, you may be able to suppress the breath test results and defend against the charge of MIP.
Of course, if you were on probation, parole, carrying a concealed weapon pursuant to a valid concealed pistol permit, or driving an automobile, there may have been other statutory requirements that you submit to a breath test and failure to submit could result in additional penalties.
MIP Probation Violations
Some courts have been placing people on probation for violating the MIP statute with very rigid probation conditions and then jailing them when the conditions were broken. There has been a significant amount of litigation in Michigan regarding jailing MIP probationers for violating probation and doing so is of questionable legality.
If you’re facing probation violation charges stemming from a MIP charge, you may have some very solid defenses to incarceration. Don’t try to take on the prosecutor and probation department on your own. Contact our office at 989-283-1300 or 877-MICH-DUI to discuss how we can defend against the government’s claim that you violated your probation.