Morgan Mueller ‘18 and Lily Hansen ‘18: Due to growing apprehensions regarding the issue of underage drinking, Gov. Rick Snyder decided to revise the Michigan MIP law. The first offense of a minor in possession changed from a civil infraction to a misdemeanor. The law goes into effect 90 days after December 21, 2016. A minor in possession can no longer be charged with jail time for their first offense. After the revised law goes into effect, the first offense results in a $100 fine and is counted as a misdemeanor. Although, if a minor doesn’t learn their lesson the first time and commits a second offense, they can be charged with a $200 fine, as well as up to 30 days in jail. The second offense is also recorded as a misdemeanor on a minor’s criminal record. An MIP is job threatening and is nothing for minors to take advantage of, it can seriously affect their future and ability to have a career and move forward later on in life.
Giving minors a chance to learn from their mistakes the first time, the policy is greatly accepted. This change has been greeted with enthusiasm and support within the community.
“I am 100% in support of this change,” Lindsay Weber ‘18 said. “I have seen the consequences of an MIP second-hand being a high school student, and although I do not agree with the mix of teenagers and alcohol, I am aware that as kids, we make mistakes and do irrational things sometimes and for this reason, I believe we deserve a chance to fix them as long as the lesson is learned.”
On the opposing side, people disagree with the policy change and think it will do more harm than good.
“As a parent of teenagers, I believe that this change will be abused,” an anonymous source said. “It makes absolutely no sense to change the law and I think it’s going to cause more problems than it will fix. If you break the law, there should be appropriate consequences and not second chances.”
This change will have both positive and negative effects on minors. While it teaches people to learn from their mistakes, it also pushes them to avoid the mistakes before they happen. Teens should always think about their future and the possible outcomes of a situation before doing something they will regret.