Unraveling Missouri’s Alcohol Rules
In Missouri, the deal with booze is simple: you need to be 21 to buy it, own it or drink it, except for a few jobs where it’s okay. But if you’re caught with alcohol under 21, it’s a big deal—it’s called Minor in Possession (MIP). Knowing these rules inside and out is crucial if you or someone you know is facing an MIP charge. Getting the right legal help can be a game-changer in sorting things out and keeping a young person’s future on track. Our criminal defense team at Boehmer Law understands what you and your family are going through, and we are here to help.
Consequences Of MIP Charges
Being charged with Minor in Possession (MIP) in state court can lead to penalties of up to a year in jail or a $1000 fine. Operating a vehicle with alcohol while underage could result in temporary license suspension.
Minors facing MIP (16-20 years old) risk license suspension—30 days for the 1st offense, 90 days for the 2nd and revocation for a year for subsequent convictions. Expungement is possible for MIP convictions under specific circumstances.
MIP doesn’t necessarily mean holding an alcoholic beverage; constructive possession or mere presence near alcohol can lead to charges.
Handling Law Enforcement Encounters
Officers can charge a minor with MIP based on visible signs of intoxication, conducting tests like breath, urine or blood alcohol content checks, or administering field sobriety tests.
It’s crucial to understand your rights in such situations. Refusal to perform tests when not operating a vehicle has no legal consequences.
Seek Legal Counsel
Before making any decisions, it’s wise to contact an attorney immediately if facing MIP charges. Our attorneys at Boehmer Law can provide guidance and assistance.