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Ultimate MIP Guide for Students

As young people enter into the exciting new phases of high school and college experiences —  the context of “fun” can start taking on a different meaning. Kids begin seeking more independence and are often lured in by venturing out and trying new things. It’s a time when opportunities to drink alcohol rise up more frequently — even as early as their freshman year in high school.

There are a number of influencers that can lead to underage drinking. It could be the direct influence of a friend, a teammate, an older sibling or even a parent in some cases. Something to note — a “safe” environment for drinking alcohol as a minor doesn’t exist. No matter how careful or responsible you think you’re being — your future and your record are never worth compromising. 

At Kitchin Law Firm, we’re always prepared for when the “unexpected” happens. We care about your future and want to be a helpful guide when comes to minor in possessions (MIPs). 

 

What is MIP?

 If you’re under the age of 21 and choosing to drink alcohol, you are undoubtedly putting yourself at risk for getting an MIP. MIPs vary state-by-state, but the common thread across the board is that it’s against the law for anyone under the age of 21 to consume alcohol. For this reason, minors who are found with alcohol in their possession commit a criminal offense.

With MIPs, come unwanted consequences. One of the toughest consequences of MIP convictions, is that it goes directly on your record. This can work against you when it comes to getting a job, participating in school-related activities, and even applying to college in the future.

 

What to Know About MIPs in Kansas and Missouri 

 

MIP in Kansas 

In Kansas, the types of penalties you receive for an MIP is dependent upon your age.  If you’re between the ages of 18 and 20, you can be charged with a Class C misdemeanor, which is punishable by a fine of $200.00.  If you are under the age of 18, you are a juvenile offender and subject to a fine of $200.00 to $500.00.

Kansas drivers under the age of 21 with a BAC between .02 and .08 can expect to have their license suspended if they don’t request, fight and win their license hearing. 

Additional consequences for an MIP in Kansas are:

  • Public service hours
  • Completion of an educational or training program related to alcohol or other substances
  • Driver’s license suspension (30 days for first offense, 90 days for second offense and one year for a third or subsequent offense)

 

MIP in Missouri

In Missouri, an MIP is classified as a misdemeanor.  You can be charged with an MIP in Missouri if you are under the age of 21 and:

  • You are caught purchasing or attempting to purchase alcohol,
  • You are in possession of alcohol,
  • You are visibly intoxicated
  • You have a blood alcohol content of .02 or more. 

If you are a minor and convicted of MIP in Missouri, the court can order the suspension or revocation of your driving privileges (30 day suspension for a first offense, 90 day suspension for a second offense and a one year revocation for a third or any subsequent offense).

Two points are added to your Missouri driving record for a MIP traffic conviction, which happens if you were operating a motor vehicle at the time of the offense. 

 

Missouri Abuse and Lose Law

Under the Missouri Abuse and Lose Law, courts can suspend or revoke the driving privileges of any person who is under 21 years of age for any one of the following reasons:

  • Any alcohol-related traffic offense
  • Any offense involving the possession or use of alcohol while operating a motor vehicle
  • Any offense involving the possession or use of drugs
  • Any offense involving the alteration, modification or misrepresentation of a driver’s license 
  • A second offense involving the possession or use of alcohol by someone under 18 years of age

The driver license suspension period for a 1st offense Missouri Abuse and Lose Law violation is 90 days. For a 2nd and subsequent offense Missouri Abuse and Lose Law violation, the driver license revocation period is one year. 

Finally, if ordered by a court, anyone 21 years of age or older may have his or her driving privilege revoked for one year for possession or use of drugs while driving.

 

How to Handle an MIP

As a student in high school or college, it’s important to know what steps to take if you’ve been issued a minor in possession. Your most crucial step to take is to find an experienced criminal defense lawyer to fight on your behalf.  If this is your first MIP, you can also read How to Take Control of Your First MIP, for a better understanding of what to do next. 

Getting an MIP can be a difficult situation to navigate alone, but with Kitchin Law Firm — you don’t have to. With Kitchin Law Firm as your criminal defense attorney, you get someone with more than 25 years of experience — skillfully working to protect you, your rights and your future. 

Contact Kitchin Law Firm and learn how we work together to find positive resolve your case. 


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