Minor in Possession of Alcohol
Minor in Possession of Alcohol Charges and Penalties (MIP)
If you are under the age of 21 in Florida, it is illegal to possess any alcoholic beverage. The State of Florida prohibits anyone below the age of 21 from possessing any form of alcoholic beverages, and the penalties for violating this law are:
- First Offense; You will be charged with a second-degree misdemeanor and ordered to pay a fine of up to $500.00 and sentenced up to 60 days in jail.
- Second Offense; You will be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor and ordered to pay a fine of $1000.00 and sentenced up to one year in jail.
The Court will also direct the Department of High Safety and Motor Vehicles to withhold the issuance of, revoke, or suspend your driver’s license or driving privileges for the first violation of not less than six months and not more than one year, and any subsequent violation will be up to a period of two years suspension, or altogether revoked.
Although Florida prohibits anyone under the age of 21 from possessing any type of alcoholic beverage, the minor in possession (MIP) laws do not apply to servers who are 18 years or older and employed by a licensed business that sells, prepares, or provides alcoholic beverage to the public.
Additionally, it is against the law for any driver under the age of 21 to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .02 or higher. The penalties you may be facing include, driver’s license being suspended for 6 months, and if your BAC was .05 or more, your license will be suspended until you complete a substance abuse course. Until the substance abuse course is completed the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will not reinstate your driver’s license. Lastly, if you are under the age of 18 at the time, the police are required to contact your parents.
To learn more about the MIP laws, read Title XXXIV of the Florida Statutes. If you are facing MIP charges in Florida, contact The Law Offices of Smith and Eulo to speak to experienced criminal defense lawyers.