The Legal Consequences of Underage Drinking

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Hi, I’m Danny Karon, your Lovable Lawyer here with your on-campus shot of legal wellness. I’m at the University of Michigan today where I teach at the law school and with school in full swing, that means parties are in full swing too. But you see, many students are still under 21 and that can cause them real problems.

Now I’m certainly not telling you what to do and it doesn’t matter what I did. I’m just here to raise your legal awareness by talking to you a bit about the law. The laws concerning underage drinking vary from state to state but they’re largely similar. Because I’m in Ann Arbor today, let’s talk about Michigan Law. That seems to make the most sense.

Now first things first, according to article 4 section 40 of the Michigan Constitution, “a person who has not reached the age of 21 years shall not possess any alcoholic beverage for the purpose of personal consumption.”

So, what does this mean if you’re caught underage drinking on campus? Well, it can result in Michigan in what’s called a minor in possession or MIP violation. First time MIP violators face a $100 fine plus the possibility of community service and substance abuse classes. A second time MIP offense gets you a misdemeanor punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a $200 fine. A third offense could result in a sentence of up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine. You could also get your driver’s license revoked.

You might say, well, whatever, I got a fake ID. Well, that comes with risks too. Big time risks. Possessing a fake ID is a misdemeanor offense that’s punishable by fines up to $2,000, 12 months in prison, or both. And selling fake IDs, that’s a felony offense punishable by fines of up to $10,000, five years in prison, or both.

I’m sorry to be the one telling you all this. I don’t mean to give you the “go blues,” and I’m certainly not telling you what to do. I’m just here to raise your legal awareness if you decide to raise a little hell this weekend. If you’d like to learn more about legal wellness, please subscribe to my YouTube channel or visit me at Until next time, I’m Danny Karon, your Lovable Lawyer.

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