Underage Possession and Consumption of Alcohol

The National Minimum Drinking Age Act, passed in 1984, set the drinking age in America to be 21 years. A Minor in Possession (MIP) charge is a criminal act that involves the control or consumption of alcohol by a person under the age of 21 in the United States. In Wisconsin, as within the borders of any other American state, this misdemeanor is punishable by state and local law.

Many people in the United States are in opposition to the current national drinking age. There are several arguments for lowering the minimum age, including bringing the United States on par with the rest of the world and granting all adults, including those between the ages of 18 and 20, the same rights.

Exceptions to the MIP Law

In Wisconsin, there are several exceptions to the MIP law, which include the following:

  • While the minor is in the presence of a parent or guardian
  • If the minor is employed by a workplace that sells alcohol (consumption is still prohibited)
  • If the minor is on a campus, is at least 18 years of age, and is in the direct vicinity of a person who is of the legal drinking age

Penalties to MIP Law

If you have been charged with an MIP, you are subject to a fine, the revocation or suspension of your operating licenses, and/or required community service. With each subsequent MIP violation, the fine and number of service hours are subject to increase.

The underage drinking law extends to those who sell or provide alcohol to minors, and they are punishable in much the same manner as the minors in violation of this piece of legislation.

Contact Us

If you or someone you know has been charged with an MIP or with the sale or presentation of alcohol to a minor, please contact a Milwaukee criminal defense lawyer from Hart Powell, S.C. by dialing (414) 271-9595.

Written by Michael Hart & Craig Powell

Last Updated : January 14, 2016