Grand Valley State University (GVSU) – Minor in Possession
Students under the age of 21 are often prosecuted for minor in possession of alcohol after being found with alcohol in their possession or after having tested positive for alcohol by blowing into a PBT (preliminary breath test).
Unconstitutional PBT Requirement
MCL 436.1703(6) purports to require any person who is 21 years of age to submit to a preliminary breath test (PBT) when a peace officer has reasonable cause to believe that the minor has consumed alcohol. The ordinance makes it a civil infraction to refuse. A civil infraction is not criminal and the only penalty is a monetary fine.
Recently, in City of Troy v Chowdhury, 285 Mich App 509; 775 NW2d 845 (2009), the Michigan Court of Appeals held that this provision of the statute requiring minors to submit to a breath test without a search warrant was unconstitutional. This issue was also recognized by Platte v Thomas Twp, 504 F.Supp2d 227 (2007).
In short, just because you’re under 21, you don’t lose your constitutional right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. Generally speaking, when requested or demanded by a police officer to submit to a PBT, you should decline the request. Of course, you should never resist a police officer as doing so can be a felony. However, you should politely ask if you’re required to submit. The officer will probably tell you that it’s your choice.
Bond requirements in Judge Post’s court.
If you’re facing a MIP charge, you should be aware that recently the district court which covers GVSU’s campus has been requiring students and others charged with MIP to post a 10% bond. In August 2010, the court was setting this bond at $2,100 / 10% — which means that you must post $210 cash in order to leave the court after your arraignment. Since MIP is not punishable by jail, it is debatable whether this practice is appropriate.
As recently as August 2010, people charged with MIP were ordered to submit to drug testing if they chose to plead not guilty and request a trial. If you’re charged with MIP and would prefer not to submit to a drug test, call our office to discuss your options.
Fight your MIP
A MIP charge is criminal and will remain on your criminal history for potential employers to view. If you’re facing MIP charges, you owe it to yourself to fight the charges. To discuss how we can defense your case, please call our office at 616-723-0181.