Policy: Minor In Possession of Alcohol


The purpose of this order is to establish the procedures for dealing with persons under the age of 21 that are operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance. This also addresses those persons under 21 years of age that consume or possess an alcoholic beverage.


It is the policy of the Michigan State University Police Department (Department) to follow the designated legal procedures provided by law and statutes.


Blood Alcohol Content

The applicable statutes designate the legal procedures to be followed when dealing with persons that have consumed, possessed, or driven under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance.

A blood alcohol content of 0.02% up to and including 0.07% applies to the Operating While Impaired (O.W.I.)-Minor statute.

Presence of Alcohol

When there is any presence of alcohol within a person’s body resulting from the consumption of intoxicating liquor (other than consumption of intoxicating liquor as a part of a generally recognized religious service or ceremony).

Exceptions to the Statute

The following individuals are not considered to be in violation of the Minor In Possession statute:

A minor who has consumed alcoholic liquor and who voluntarily presents himself or herself to a health facility or agency for treatment or for observation.

Exception for an assisting person: A minor who has consumed alcoholic liquor that accompanies another minor who has consumed alcoholic liquor and meets the following criteria:

Voluntarily presents himself or herself to a health facility or agency for treatment or for observation including but not limited to, medical examination and treatment.

A minor who initiates contact with a peace officer or emergency medical services personnel for the purpose of obtaining medical assistance for a legitimate health care concern.


Those arrested for a violation of the vehicle operation offenses shall be processed in accordance with current O.W.I. procedures and the following conditions:

A minor will be processed the same as someone 21 years of age or older.

Exception: No fingerprints will be taken under the OWI-Minor Statute.)

Once the driver has been processed they will be cited and released or lodged in the same manner as those 21 years of age or older.

If the driver is a juvenile (under 17 years of age) then current juvenile release procedures shall apply.

Minor in Possession/Consumption of Alcohol

If the offense involves possession of alcohol by a person under the age of 17 years they can be cited and released under juvenile procedures regardless of blood alcohol level.

If the offense involves possession of alcohol by a person 17-20 years of age, they may be cited.

First offense (civil infraction): Notwithstanding additional charges, officers shall cite and release.

Second and subsequent offense (misdemeanor): Officers shall take into account such factors as: safety concerns, additional crimes committed, location of the offense, public nuisance and BAC when making the determination to lodge MIP’s. For those arrests where the BAC is above a .10% and the decision has been made not to lodge, officers shall seek authorization from the Duty Supervisor.

Parental Contact

A law enforcement agency shall notify the parent(s), custodian or guardian of an individual less than 18 years of age and not emancipated, who has allegedly consumed, possessed, or purchased alcoholic liquor, attempted to consume, possess or purchase alcohol, or has a bodily alcohol content in violation.

Contact with parent(s), custodian or guardian must be made within 48 hours of determining a violation has occurred.

Contact includes, but is not limited to, notice in person, by telephone, or by first-class mail.

If an individual less than 17 years of age is incarcerated for this violation, their parents or legal guardian shall be notified immediately.