Texas Minor In Possession MIP/MIC of Alcohol Program
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What is a Minor In Possession MIP Alcohol Charge in Texas?
In Texas a Minor in Possession, or a MIP, (also referred to as a PAULA, Possession of Alcohol or Consumption (MIC) Under the Legal Age) is a criminal offense, typically a misdemeanor. In some states, depending on the county in which the person is charged, the MIP may also be charged as an offense. Anyone who is under the age of 21 and possesses alcoholic beverages in the United States, with the exception of special circumstances, is violating the law of the state.
Texas MIP Alcohol Penalties
Possession is prohibited WITH THE FOLLOWING EXCEPTION(S):
- OR spouse
In Texas, a minor may possess an alcoholic beverage if the minor is in the visible presence of his adult parent, guardian, or spouse. Tex. Alco. Bev. Code Ann. § 106.05.
Punishments for minors in possession vary greatly from state-to-state. Since alcohol enforcement (and the establishment of drinking ages) is the responsibility of the individual states, only local and state agencies can legally write a minors in possession citation. As such, each state levies its own fines and punishments for a minors in possession.
In some states, a simple first-time minors in possession without any other circumstances (such as driving or public intoxication) may only involve a fine of $100–500. Often fines are reduced or eliminated provided the person convicted completes a program such as alcohol awareness, probation, or community service. In some states, a fine is eliminated, supplemented or accompanied with a loss of the accused driver license for a period of time ranging from 30 days to 12 months. For example, violation of Texas’s Business & Professions Code Section 25662, regarding persons under 21 in possession of alcohol, carries a punishment of $250 and a mandatory revocation of their driver’s license for one year in accordance with Vehicle Code Section 13202.5.
Subsequent offenses or a person with a preexisting criminal record may frequently receive a full fine, or in some extreme cases, several days in jail. In many cases a third MIP may result in a loss of the defendant’s driver’s license until the age of 21.
Texas Minor in Possession of Alcohol
Minor in possession of alcohol laws criminalize the possession and consumption of alcohol by individuals who are under the legal drinking age. The purpose of these laws is to strictly punish underage drinkers and deter illegal alcohol consumption.
Underage Drinking in the Texas
Underage drinking is a significant issue in the United States. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, almost half of all teens have consumed alcohol by age 15. By age 18, more than 70 percent have had at least one drink. Almost 5,000 minors die every year, and over 190,000 are injured, due to alcohol-related accidents and injuries.
For this reason, most states have criminalized the possession of alcohol for minors. These laws identify minors who are illegally consuming alcohol and attempt to interrupt these behaviors before they lead to more significant health or legal issues down the road.
This section of the APIS Web site provides State-by-State summaries of statutes and regulations related to underage drinking and access to alcohol. For each State, summaries are provided for twelve policy topics that are particularly relevant to underage drinking. To view the summary for a given jurisdiction, click on the appropriate part of the map or select a jurisdiction from the drop-down menu.