The state of Arizona has tried to discourage minors from consuming alcohol by passing strict laws. The minor in possession, or MIP, laws aim to reduce alcohol consumption among people who are under the age of 21. Underage drinking is a concern because it can lead to actions such as driving under the influence, disorderly conduct and juveniles committing vandalism and other crimes. Our law firm has handled Minor in Possession and Minor in Consumption cases all over the state but particularly cases involving Arizona State and University of Arizona students in Tempe and Tucson. We also have successfully handled cases in Scottsdale, Phoenix, Flagstaff, Chandler, Lake Havasu, and Gilbert. If you would like to speak with an attorney for free, give us a call at (602) 307-0808.
Minor in Possession (MIP) and Drinking Alcohol
People who are under the age of 21 are allowed inside of a bar in Arizona. However, they must be accompanied by a legal guardian, spouse or parent who is over the age of 21. Even though the minors can be allowed in a bar, they are not allowed to consume any alcohol.
Minor in Consumption (MIC) of Alcohol in a Public Place
It is illegal for anyone who is under the age of 21 to consume alcohol in public. However, there are a few exceptions that apply:
- Per ARS 4-226, Minors can consume alcohol for medical purposes as long as it does not threaten the safety or health of anyone in public.
- Per ARS 4-249, A minor can consume alcohol as a part of a religious service as long as it does not threaten the health or safety of the public.
Minors Obtain Alcohol Illegally
ARS 4-241L – If you are under the age of 21 and get a fake ID to purchase alcohol, then you will be charged with a Class 1 Misdemeanor. You can face a fine of up to $2,500, revocation of driver’s license for up to 6 months or 180 days, and jail time of up to 6 months. These are very harsh penalties for a minor obtaining alcohol illegally and you should consider hiring a lawyer to help with the charges.
ARS 4-241M – If you ask someone to purchase, give or sell alcohol to you, and you are under the age of 21, then you will be charged with a Class 3 Misdemeanor. The potential penalties include, fines up to $500, potential loss of driver’s license for 6 months, and possible jail time of up to 6 months.
ARS 4-241N – If you are a minor who uses a fake ID to get into a place that licensed to sell alcohol, then you will be charged with a Class 1 Misdemeanor. If arrested, you will be facing a fine of up to $2,500, suspended driver’s license for up to 6 months, and jail time of up to 6 months.
Minors In Licensed Establishment
ARS 4-244 – Businesses with liquor licenses are not allowed to sell alcohol to people who are under the age of 21. However, minors can enter the premises of the business if they are accompanied by a legal guardian, parent or spouse over the age of 21. A minor who is an employee on duty is also allowed to enter a business that sells alcohol. If this law is violated, then one can be charged with a Class 2 Misdemeanor and suffer the following consequences: fine of up to $750, and jail time of up to 6 months.
The State of Arizona takes Minor in Consumption of Alcohol (MIC) and Minor in Possession of Alcohol (MIP) very seriously as evident by the penalties associated with a conviction. If you or a loved one has been charged with any of the above crimes, the best thing you can do is come in and talk with one of our defense attorneys for free. We offer a free 30 minute consultation where one of our attorneys will find out about your case and then offer you our professional opinion. If you’re ready to get a free consultation, call our 24 hour office line at (602) 307-0808 or send us a confidential email.