Minor in Consumption of Alcohol is where a person under 21 years of age ingests or drinks an alcoholic beverage. No breathalyzer or alcohol tests are required for an officer to charge a minor, and neither are required for a Judge or Jury to convict the minor.
(a) A minor commits an offense if he consumes or possesses an alcoholic beverage.
Minor in Possession of Alcohol is where a person under 21 years of agepossesses or has control over an alcoholic beverage. The minor need not be drunk or even have drank any alcohol. Likewise, the minor need not own the alcohol or have bought it. Mere possession or being in control of the alcohol is enough to be cited and charged with MIC.
For individuals arrested for both Possession and Consumption of Alcohol by a Minor, the offense is considered a Class C Misdemeanor, punishable by fines of up to $500.
Due to the Underage Drinking Laws in Texas, a Conviction will Suspend the minor's Driver's License or delay the ability to obtain one. If convicted, the minor must attend and complete a mandatory education class for alcohol awareness, and must complete community service at an anti-alcohol agency or group (organizations that aid those with alcohol issues or alcohol awareness).
|Level of Offense||Punishment|
|Class C Misdemeanor||Not Jailable, No more than $500 fines|
|Class B Misdemeanor||Not more than 180 days in a county jail, and/or no more than $2,000 fines|
These cases often come down to the officer's report, which is a preview of what that officer would testify to if called at trial. If the officer listed enough detail in the report to show taht the minor had consumed (any) alcohol, such as smell, bloodshot eyes, stumbling, or the most common admission of drinking, then prosecutors will often insist upon the Alcohol Awareness Class and community service. Some will want a conviction, while others may be willing, after negotiation, to agree to a dismissal. Most courts require fines and court costs, most likely in effort to demonstrate to the minor that there are consequences to actions.
For minors previously convicted of two underage drinking offense or more, the third is enhanced. The third offense is punishable by fines >$250 up to $2,000, and even has the potential for jail time.
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