Michigan State University

MIP changes, other legislation signed into law in December

Jon Harrison

Legislation reducing penalties for minors caught with alcohol is among the bills signed by Gov. Rick Snyder and Lt. Gov. Brian Calley last month. 

Senate Bills 332-333, sponsored by state Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge, reduce first time violations of the minor in possession law from a misdemeanor to a state civil infraction akin to a traffic ticket, Jones said.

The suspension of drivers licenses is still possible on second and third offenses under the new law, and the prohibition against people under 21 from having any bodily alcohol content remains. 

What got Jones interested in making the changes was complaints from parents who said the punishments varied widely by jurisdiction. 

"Some courts would offer a deal... take an alcohol class then we'll reduce it to nothing, basically, you'll have no record. Other courts were wildly different," said Jones, who said in some cases minors spent time in jail and got a permanent criminal record. 

The measures are now Public Acts 357 and 358 of 2016. They go into effect Jan. 1, 2018 -- later than Jones had proposed, but a compromise he said was necessary for the bills to win House approval. 

For the full article, see Lauren Gibbens, "MIP changes, other legislation signed into law in December", MLive, January 3, 2017.

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