You might think that the amount of underage drinking has dropped due to the pandemic, but that doesn’t appear to be the case. While schools are closed and parties may be less prevalent, alcohol is still being sold, and as a result, underage drinking remains a problem.
If your child is facing charges related to underage drinking, you should contact an Ann Arbor DUI attorney as soon as possible. They can help you understand your options and fight for your child’s future.
Drinking at Home or Alone
Because public gatherings are limited, many underage people choose to drink at home or in smaller groups. While large parties tend to focus on law enforcement’s efforts to stop underage drinking, you should be aware that police are always concerned about underage drinking. A routine traffic stop or responding to a complaint can quickly result in a criminal charge.
Michigan’s Underage Drinking Laws
Like every other state, it is against the law in Michigan for anyone under the age of 18 to purchase, consume, or possess alcohol. The penalties you could face are as follows:
- A first offense is considered a civil infraction with a fine of $100. You may also be ordered to undergo substance abuse counseling and perform community service.
- A second offense is a misdemeanor. You could face a fine of up to $200 and up to 30 days in jail. Again, the judge may order you to undergo substance abuse counseling and to perform community service.
- A third offense is also a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 60 days in jail and a fine of $500.
Keep in mind that you can be charged with Minor in Possession even with an empty bottle or can. You can be charged even if the container isn’t in your actual possession.
Underage DUI Charges
Michigan has a “zero tolerance” law when it comes to underage drinking and driving. People over the age of 21 face DUI charges if they have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08% or higher. Persons under the age of 21 can be charged with DUI with a BAC of only .02%, which is significantly lower. If convicted, you could face the following penalties:
- First offense: a fine of $250 and up to 360 hours of community service. Your license will also be suspended.
- Second offense: a fine of $500 and up to 93 days in jail plus up to 60 days in jail, in addition to the suspension of your license and other penalties.
Contact an Ann Arbor DUI Attorney Today
Charges related to underage drinking are serious and can carry significant consequences, even if you are a first-time offender. Ann Arbor DUI attorney Sam Bernstein has the knowledge and experience you need to put this behind you. If you’d like to discuss your case and how he can help you get a fair result, call us at 734-883-9584 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.