Sheehan & Associates, P.L.C.

Drunk driving laws in Michigan: Minors and alcohol

Substance abuse on its own can be a dangerous condition, and when it's combined with driving, it can be lethal. When a person drinks, he or she endangers him or herself and others. If he or she causes an accident, he or she and others involved could suffer serious injuries or death.

Driving while intoxicated by drugs or alcohol is illegal. It's illegal because it leads to collisions and accidents that could otherwise be avoided simply by calling a taxi or getting a ride from a sober driver. A blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 or higher will result in a charge for driving under the influence. For those under the age of 21, driving with a BAC of 0.02 or higher is illegal. Minors may have a small amount of alcohol in their systems in Michigan without being charged, but that amount is very low.

It is completely illegal for minors to buy, possess or consume alcoholic beverages in most circumstances. Sometimes, minors can be in possession of alcohol if it's being transported and a person over the age of 21 is in the vehicle or with the minor at the time. If the police stop a minor with alcohol in his or her possession, that minor can be charged with a misdemeanor and can face penalties in accordance to the state laws.

If you are under 21 and are stopped for drunk driving, or if you're an adult who is stopped for driving drunk, it's important that you have someone on your side to help you develop a solid defense. With the right help, you can make sure you don't face an unfair penalty for your alleged crimes. If the police made mistakes and stopped you without cause, you may even be able to get your case dropped.

Source: State of Michigan, Secretary of State, "Substance Abuse and Driving," accessed June 08, 2016

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