Minor in Possession

Essay by heyitsambreHigh School, 12th gradeA+, November 2014

download word file, 4 pages 0.0

It is well know that anyone under the age of twenty-one possessing alcohol can get in major trouble with the law. In many states being a minor possessing alcohol regardless of whether they were actually drinking it is illegal. In. Missouri, the legal drinking age has been twenty-one since 1945. The crime of minors possessing alcohol is regulated under "Minor in Possession" (MIP) laws. These laws can vary by state. Some states prosecute minors to the full extent of the law while other states are less harsh. Many states allow minors to participate in programs and classes ordered by the courts to rehabilitate the minor and hopefully prevent future criminal activity.

Even if a minor has not been drinking, they can be found guilty of minor in possession of alcohol. Some states may arrest a minor simply if they appear to be intoxicated. 
In 2005, Missouri law was expanded to include so called "possession by consumption", providing that prosecutors no longer needed to show that a minor actually purchased or possessed alcohol.

Now simply appearing visibly intoxicated will constitute a violation, even if there is no evidence of actual possession. Minor in Possession laws can be enforced if the person was younger than the legal drinking age in the state at the time of the citation and they were possessing alcohol, attempted to purchase alcohol, have detectable traces of alcohol on your breath, blood, or saliva, or appear to be visibly intoxicated. The minor being questioned doesn't need to be driving in order to be found guilty of Minor in Possession. Simply holding an unopened container while underage can lead to Minor in Possession charges.

Minor in Possession consequences are typically moderate for first-time offenders. People who repeatedly commit the crime can have increasingly severe penalties with...