NEW Minor in Possession Law

Law Change: Minor in Possession


Public Act 357 of 2016 MCL 436.1703 Amended
Effective January 1, 2018
Offense Punishment Licensing Action
First Civil Infraction; Fine may not exceed $100; Court costs of $200; State costs of $10; No deferral possible None (but infraction will be posted on driving record). ***any subsequent civil infraction would result in increased license sanctions from the Secretary of State***
Second Misdemeanor; Fine may not exceed $200; Court costs determined by the Court; Crime Victims Rights Fund costs of $75; Justice System Assessment of $50; Possible probation with oversight fees; Substance abuse treatment; Community service; Deferral possible. 30 days jail possible only upon violation of probation, failure to successfully complete substance abuse treatment, and/or failure to pay fine. License shall be suspended 90 days; restriction after 30 days.
Third Misdemeanor; Fine may not exceed $500; Court costs determined by the Court; Crime Victims Rights Fund costs of $75; Justice System Assessment of $50; Probation possible with oversight fees; Substance abuse treatment; Community service; Deferral possible. 60 days jail possible only upon violation of probation, failure to successfully complete substance abuse treatment, and/or failure to pay fine. License shall be suspended 1 year; restriction after 60 days.

Sanctions


Minor in Possession of Alcohol -- First, Second or Third Offenses  
Denial or Admission of Responsibility

Both the State of Michigan and the City of East Lansing prohibit a person under the age of 21 from purchasing, attempting to purchase, consuming or attempting to consume, possessing or attempting to possess alcohol, or having any bodily alcohol content.

Effective January 1, 2018, a first offense will usually be written as a civil infraction, not a criminal offense, and will be punishable by payment of a civil fine and court costs.  No jail may be imposed. 

If you are cited for a civil infraction, you may admit, deny or admit the offense with explanation, and proceed in accordance with the information contained on the reverse side of the citation.

If you admit responsibility, the court will impose standard fines and costs in the total amount of $310, which includes $100 in fines, $200 in court costs, and a mandatory assessment of state minimum costs in the amount of $10. (MCL 600.181)

The admission will result in the entry of a judgment which will be reported to the Michigan Secretary of State (SOS).  SOS will record the judgment on your driving record but there will be no license sanctions imposed.  

If you admit responsibility for the civil infraction and have  an out-of-state license, SOS will create a Michigan driving record for you. 

Second Offense
The law  allows you to admit responsibility only once to a civil infraction for MIP.  If a subsequent violation occurs you may be charged with a misdemeanor crime. It is possible a police officer will nonetheless give you a civil infraction citation.  At the time the officer encounters you and writes the citation the officer may not have the capacity to check your driving record to determine if there are prior offenses.  Because the court has no responsibility to enforce the law, it will not change the civil infraction to a misdemeanor unless requested by the prosecutor or city attorney.

In this case, the court will process the civil infraction citation as a first offense in accordance with the above.  

If you are charged with a misdemeanor you should read the Guilty Plea and Advice of Rights form before making a decision on how to plead.  This form sets forth your rights and the consequences of pleading guilty.  

Regardless of whether you receive a civil infraction ticket or are charged with a misdemeanor, the SOS will treat the second civil infraction judgment as a second conviction and  will suspend your license to drive for 90 days and  you will not be legally permitted to drive at all for the first 30 days of the period of suspension.

The SOS suspension will be mailed to you at whatever address you have reported to SOS.  Every licensed driver in Michigan is required to maintain a correct mailing address with SOS.

The court has no authority to suspend, amend or otherwise interfere with the responsibilities imposed on the SOS by the law.

Third or Subsequent Civil Infraction
Like a second offense, the law requires that a third offense be charged as a misdemeanor. It is possible a police officer will nonetheless you a civil infraction citation. At the time the officer encounters you and writes the citation the officer may not have the capacity to check your driving record to determine if there are prior offenses.  Because the court has no responsibility to enforce the law, it will not change the civil infraction to a misdemeanor unless requested by the prosecutor or city attorney.

In this case the court will process the civil infraction citation as a first offense in accordance with the above.  

If you are charged with a misdemeanor you should read the Guilty Plea and Advice of Rights form before making a decision on how to plead.  This form sets forth your rights and the consequences of pleading guilty.

Regardless of whether you receive a civil infraction ticket or are charged with a misdemeanor the SOS will treat the third civil infraction judgment as a third or subsequent conviction and will suspend your license to drive for 1 year and you will not be legally permitted to drive at all for the first 60 days of the period of suspension.

The SOS suspension will be mailed to you at whatever address you have reported to SOS.  Every licensed driver in Michigan is required to maintain a correct mailing address with SOS.

The court has no authority to suspend, amend or otherwise interfere with the responsibilities imposed on the SOS by the law.