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MIP Law changes slated for 2018

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Beginning next year minors found in possession of alcohol will get a little more leniency under the law.

The consequences defined by Michigan’s minor in possession, or MIP law, are changing starting January first.

The first offense will be a civil infraction, instead of a misdemeanor. The minor will have to pay a fine and could be sentenced to community service or to substance abuse classes, and the infraction will appear on their driving record.

Michael Sepic is the prosecuting attorney in Berrien County. He says the law will keep youth from having criminal records for one relatively minor offense.

“I think what the legislature was trying to do was prevent the negative consequences outside the criminal justice system that sometimes follow a young person a ways through life.”

The second offence remains a misdemeanor carrying a fine, and the possibility of 30 days in jail.

Sepic says one issue with the change that hasn’t been ironed out is how to keep track of first offenses for minors who don’t have a driver’s license.