The charge of San Diego minor in possession comes with the hefty sanction of a one year driving suspension. You will at minimum spend several months without driving before you can apply for a “critical need” license.
I get it. People under 21 with alcohol have a tendancy to get behind the wheel which leads to DUIs. However, more and more students work during school off campus, live off campus, or go to a school that has not dorms. Has someone ever seen Grossmont JC parking lot?…. ouch. Young people need their driving privilege.
It is good to see the matter becoming an infraction in some states. For me, lets take off the one year suspension. It is a very tough sanction….a larger penalty drivers license wise than a DUI. Have a great day to all.
Underage drinkers caught possessing, purchasing or consuming alcohol in Michigan could be guilty of a civil infraction – rather than a misdemeanor crime – under new legislation in Lansing.
Sponsoring Sen. Rick Jones, explaining his proposal in committee on Tuesday, said prosecutors have told him that minor in possession (MIP) cases are clogging up criminal courts as young people fight charges.
“Young people have found that having a misdemeanor on their record prevents them from getting college scholarships, sometimes getting into college, and certainly it affects future job prospects,” said Jones, R-Grand Ledge.
“One prosecutor told me he had eight trials ready to go on minor in possession. It absolutely is a waste of resources.”
Under current law, an initial MIP violation is punishable by a maximum fine of up to $100. A second MIP can lead to a fine of up to $200 and – if accompanied by a parole violation or other extenuating factor – up to 30 days behind bars.
Senate Bill 332 would retain the fines but eliminate the threat of jail time or a permanent criminal record. An initial civil infraction could cost up to $100, and a second violation could lead to a fine of up to $200.
A third MIP would remain a misdemeanor crime punishable by a fine of up to $500 and up to 60 days in jail, depending on extenuating circumstances, just like current law.
Jones, a former sheriff, said he takes alcohol abuse very seriously but believes that civil infractions would be an appropriate response in 95 percent of MIP cases.
Bruce Timmons, a former legislative staffer for House Republicans, testified against the bill during Tuesday’s committee hearing.
Timmons, describing a “sense of deja vu,” noted that MIPs were punishable by civil infraction from 1978 – when voters moved the state drinking age from 18 to 21 -until 1995. The civil infraction model did not work very well the first time around, he told lawmakers.
“District judges around the state complained that the civil fine sanction was ineffective and unenforceable,” Timmons said in written testimony. “There was a substantial scoff-law problem. Many ticketed for underage drinking thumbed their nose at the citation and at the court.”
Senate Bill 332 would also change state law to limit breathalyzer use that can lead to MIPs. Police officers who have reasonable cause to suspect underage drinking would be able to request – rather than require – a breath test.
Jones said parents have told him that breathalyzers have become routine on college campuses, leading underage students to consider other drugs that will not be detected in order to avoid an MIP.
“Several parents have brought it to my attention that now young people are saying why not just smoke marijuana instead of having a beer, because then I won’t get into trouble,” he said.
Jones, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, did not call for a vote on Tuesday, suggesting that he may make few tweaks to the legislation in order to win support from a judicial association.
The bill is already supported by the Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan
The full article can be found here.
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Minor Possessing Alcoholic Beverage
25662. (a) Except as provided in Section 25667 or 25668, any person under21 years of age who has any alcoholic beverage in his or her possession on any street or highway or in any public place or in any place open to the public is guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished by a fine of two hundred fifty dollars ($250) or the person shall be required to perform not less than 24 hours or more than 32 hours of community service during hours when the person is not employed or is not attending school. A second or subsequent violation shall be punishable as a misdemeanor and the person shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars ($500), or required to perform not less than 36 hours or more than 48 hours of community service during hours when the person is not employed or is not attending school, or a combination of fine and community service as the court deems just. It is the intent of the Legislature that the community service requirements prescribed in this section require service at an alcohol or drug treatment program or facility or at a county coroner’s office, if available, in the area where the violation occurred or where the person resides. This section does not apply to possession by a person under 21 years of age making adelivery of an alcoholic beverage in pursuance of the order of his or her parent, responsible adult relative, or any other adult designated by the parent or legal guardian, or in pursuance of his or her employment. That person shall have a complete defense if he or she was following, in a timely manner, the reasonable instructions of his or her parent, legal guardian, responsible adult relative, or adult designee relating to disposition of the alcoholic beverage.
(b) Unless otherwise provided by law, where a peace officer has lawfully entered the premises, the peace officer may seize any alcoholic beverage in plain view that is in the possession of, or provided to, a person under 21 years of age at social gatherings, when those gatherings are open to the public, 10 or more persons under 21 years of age are participating, persons under 21 years of age are consumingalcoholic beverages, and there is no supervision of the social gathering by a parent or guardian of one or more of the participants.
Where a peace officer has seized alcoholic beverages pursuant to this subdivision, the officer may destroy any alcoholic beverage contained in an opened container and in the possession of, or provided to, a person under 21 years of age, and, with respect to alcoholic beverages in unopened containers, the officer shall impound those beverages for a period not to exceed seven working days pending a request for the release of those beverages by a person 21 years of age or older who is the lawful owner or resident of the property upon which the alcoholic beverages were seized. If no one requests release of the seized alcoholic beverages within that period, those beverages may be destroyed.
(c) The penalties imposed by this section do not preclude prosecution or the imposition of penalties under any other provision of law, including, but not limited to, Section 13202.5 of the Vehicle Code.