Illegal Possession or Consumption of Ethyl Alcohol or Marijuana by an Underage Person, C.R.S. 18-13-122, is also known as Minor in Possession of Alcohol, or MIP in Arapahoe and Douglas County, and it can be a serious charge for children or young adults. Although a first time offense is considered a petty offense, young people should be aware that ingesting alcohol and drugs will more likely lead them down a path of further criminal activity. Read about Minor in Possession of Marijuana.
Different Ages for Different Crimes
Before I talk about an example of the above, you should know that the term Minor in Possession in Jefferson County, is misleading. The word Minor is never mentioned in the statute. That is because Colorado lawmakers have assigned different ages when a person is permitted to engage in many activities. Voting, consensual sex, driving a motor vehicles, consent for some medical procedures, or even just holding a full time job, have different legal ages. But since this law is commonly called the MIP statute, I will use it here, and it applies to anyone under the age of 21.
Under the Influence of Alcohol and Crazy Conduct
About a month ago I read a story in the New York Post about a 19 year old man who did something he most likely would not have done if he was not drunk. While intoxicated, he decided to set up his own drunk driver checkpoint by blocking a state highway with his car, putting out flares, and forcing drivers to pull over and ask to look at their driver’s license and registration. He also thought it would appear more realistic if he was carrying his BB gun. Yes, it was a stupid thing to do, and perhaps mildly funny to some. But when the real cops arrived they didn’t find it humorous and they arrested the young man. If this happened in Denver or Adams County, in addition to being charged with Minor in Possession of Alcohol – Illegal Possession or Consumption of Ethyl Alcohol or Marijuana by an Underage Person, he would have also been charged with Impersonating a Peace Officer, C.R.S. 18-8-112, and possibly False Imprisonment, C.R.S. 18-3-303.
Most Criminal Records Last Forever and Can’t be Sealed
I like to remind clients that any conviction, even petty offenses like Minor in Possession of Alcohol can blemish a person’s record and have lasting consequences. Even records that can be sealed from public access can be seen by law enforcement and other government agencies. When a potential employer is able to see arrest records and convictions, they do not always disclose why candidates are not hired, they are simply not considered. A good example of this kind of scrutiny happens when candidates are considered for jobs requiring security clearances by the federal government.
Our best advice to those under 21 is to never be in possession of alcohol or marijuana, it isn’t worth the risk. But if you are being questioned by an Aurora or Littleton police officer for holding marijuana or drinking a can of beer, our advice is to politely refuse to answer any questions. You should be smart, exercise your right to remain silent, and call us at 303-731-0719. Together we can protect your future.