Minor in Possession of Alcohol (MIP)

Minor in Possession of Alcohol (MIP)

Minor in Possession of Alcohol (MIP)

In Missouri, the legal age for purchasing, attempting to purchase, possessing or consuming alcohol is 21. There are a few exceptions to this law such as young people working in the restaurant or grocery industry. It is legal to work in a restaurant serving alcohol at age 18, and anyone 18 or over may handle alcohol in a retail store where no more than 50 percent of the store’s sales are from alcohol. A supervisor over the age of 21 must be present at all times. (Missouri Revised Statutes Chapter 311 Liquor Control Law Section 311.300.1) You must also be 21 to make and/or pour an alcoholic beverage.  

If charged with MIP of alcohol in state court the defendant faces a maximum punishment of up to a year in jail or $1000 fine. If the defendant possess alcohol while operating a motor vehicle, they could potentially have their driver license suspended temporarily. Under the Missouri's MIP law, minors (16-20 years old) who plead guilty to or are convicted of MIP will have their driver license suspended for 30 days for the 1st offense, 90 days for the 2nd offense and revoked for a year for the 3rd or any subsequent MIP conviction. Missouri law does allow for the expungment of a MIP conviction when specific requirements are met. Call Boehmer Law for more information if you have a MIP that you wish to have expunged. 636-896-4020

Many people believe that possessing alcohol is as simple as having an alcoholic beverage in their hand. However, there are several ways a person could be guilty of this charge. One example is a minor could be found to be in constructive possession of alcohol. This means, the alcohol does not have to be in their hand or on their physical person, it could be in a cooler next to them at a camp site or in the back seat of a car. 

Another form of the charge of possession of an intoxicating beverage by a minor is through observation by a law enforcement officer. Meaning, that if a policeman/woman encounters a minor and believes they are visibly intoxicated he or she could arrest the minor and charge them with the crime of minor in possession of alcohol. The best effidence an officer could get would be to obtain a sample of your breath, urine or blood to determine a blood alcohol content. Another form of detecting intoxication would be an officer administer a field sobriety test to the suspect. The most common form of detection of visibly intoxicated minors, is simply making observations about the suspect. Such observations include, but are not limited to, observing their eyes, speech, breath odor, and balance.  An officer cannot force a minor to perform any of the tests previously stated. If you are not operating a motor vehicle, there are no legal consequences for refusing to perform those tests. Before making a decision, it is always best to contact an attorney as soon as possible. 

At Boehmer Law we have years of experience in defending these types of cases. Please call our 24 emergency line if you or a loved one find yourself in any of these situations.

 Our number is 636-896-4020--CALL NOW.

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