August marks the beginning of the school year in Flagstaff. As many wide-eyed college students move in, many new situations arise. While learning how to do your own laundry or make dinner or figure out where the liberal studies class is in, you’ll also get a mix of some very important life decisions and choices to make.
Freedom and Testing Boundaries
College brings freedom to young adults. Sometimes this freedom also brings consequences that will turn into lessons. The underage consumption of alcohol is prevalent among college campuses across the nation. It is staggering how many Freshmen college students don’t know or understand the consequences they can face when involved with underage drinking.
Mistakes will be made as new students stumble into adulthood but being aware of possible repercussions associated with actions may assist in decision making.
An Example of How You Might be Charged With a Minor in Consumption (MIC)
Let’s set the scene – you’re at a new friend’s room down the hall when a group of others pop their heads in and ask if you want to go to a party off-campus. Your friend looks at you, smiles, and your first thought is, “cool, meeting new people is what college is all about, right?” You two decide to grab some cash and join the group wandering the halls before heading to the party.
You get there, are offered a few drinks and notice everyone else is drinking so why not? It won’t hurt. Then you drink a few more, the music gets louder, you meet more people, exchange numbers, get invited to a couple more parties next week, and suddenly the music stops. Then there is pounding at the door. The police have arrive on a noise complaint call.
Everyone starts running out the back door but you don’t quite make it before the police asks for your collaboration. They take your information, look at your driver’s license, and they notice you are a few years under the legal drinking age. The police can tell you’ve had a few drinks and you admit to it. They give you a short lecture, ask you where you live and charge you with a minor in consumption (MIC). But what’s that? What did you just get charged with? Are you going to have to pay fines? You don’t have any money left over after paying tuition. Is this going to stay on your record forever? What will future employers say? What do I do?
Not all situations play out just like this but this scene is not far from those that occur in Flagstaff. Now let’s start answering some of the questions you may have if you’re in this situation.
What is a MIC?
Underage drinking is taken seriously because according to the Center for Disease Control, “excessive drinking is responsible for more than 4,300 deaths among underage youth each year” and “on average, underage drinkers consume more drinks per drinking occasion than adult drinkers.”
Can a MIC affect my future?
According to Matthew Lopez Law, if you are charged with a MIC, it could affect:
- Academic choices or acceptance
- Participation in collegiate sports
- Career options
- Financial opportunities
A MIC is a misdemeanor and can stay on your record if you do not reach out for legal help from an attorney. Any legal offenses on your record can be seen by future potential employees which could affect your career opportunities.
In many cases, people charged with a MIC are also charged with other crimes.
Now let’s say you told your buddies you would be their designated driver and give them a ride to a party across town. Instead of staying sober you have a couple of drinks because you’re not quite sure about your tolerance yet and, “everyone else is and what’s a couple of drinks anyway?” You then drive everyone home and get pulled over for a broken tail light. The officer smells the alcohol on everyone and now your traffic warning is turning into something much larger. Not only is it possible to be immediately incarcerated, but you can also be charged with a MIC, a fine, and can get your license taken away. How will you drive to school or your job or that internship interview you’ve been preparing for? What will you say if your future employer asks if you can operate a company vehicle?
Arizona Minor in Consumption FAQs
Have questions about an MIC ticket or charge you received? See if your answer is listed below, otherwise, please reach out to our legal team directly.
Is a minor in possession a misdemeanor in Arizona?
Arizona’s A.R.S. 4-244(9) makes it unlawful for anybody under the age of 21 to possess or drink alcohol. A “minor in possession” charge is what this is. According to ARS 4-246, this is a class 1 misdemeanor (B). The maximum penalty for this offence is $2500 in fines and up to 6 months in prison.
How much is a minor consumption ticket in Arizona?
People under the age of 21 who the police have probable cause to believe have ingested alcohol will often be given a ticket. Consumption of alcohol by someone under the age of 21 is considered a Class Two misdemeanor, which carries a fine of up to $750 and probable prison term of up to four months.
Can an 18-year-old drink with their parents in Arizona?
When it comes to providing alcohol to those who are under the age of 21, the state of Arizona makes an exemption for parents who choose to let their children to consume alcohol in their own house, such as serving their kids a glass of wine with dinner.
Can I get in more trouble with a fake ID?
If you are found with a fake ID, law enforcement will immediately confiscate the ID. You can then receive a minor in possession (MIP) charge. The main difference between a MIC and MIP is you can still be 100% sober and get a MIP. Even if unsuccessful, using a fake ID is a criminal offense and you will be charged with a misdemeanor.
Let’s say you get caught with a fake ID while under the influence of alcohol. You can also be charged with a MIC. That means twice the amount of possible penalties.
Who Should I Contact if Charged with MIC or MIP in Flagstaff?
If charged with a MIC or MIP, it’s important to get legal representation to possibly reduce charges. Our team of dedicated trial attorneys at Antol & Sherman, PC, have more than 60 years of combined legal experience and a strong track record of providing successful legal counsel. We have been practicing criminal, family and divorce, drug and DUI, and accident law in Flagstaff, Arizona and surrounding northern Arizona cities including Camp Verde, Sedona, Williams, Holbrook, Winslow, Cottonwood, Mayer, Seligman, Kingman, Page, St. Johns and more for over 30 years. Antol & Sherman, PC and their staff of lawyers would love to sit down and discuss your legal needs. Please call us at 928-241-6339, stop in today at Antol & Sherman, PC, 150 N Verde St Suite 102, Flagstaff, AZ 86001 or visit us at flagazlaw.com.