State senate passes decreased punishment for underage drinking - WNEM TV 5

State senate passes decreased punishment for underage drinking

Posted: Updated:
Pixabay Pixabay

Some state lawmakers want to lighten the punishments for those caught drinking underage for the first time.

Under current rules, a first minor in possession offense is a misdemeanor, with a $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail.

The new proposal, a first time MIP would be a civil infraction, punishable by a $100 fine.

Sponsors of the bill said teens shouldn’t be put in jail for drinking a beer, but opponents worry it will encourage underage drinking.

Saginaw County Sheriff Bill Federspiel said misdemeanor charges can make it hard for offenders to land a job down the road.

"It involves arrest. It involves a crime on your record and you have to report that when you move forward and with the competition that's out there right now, young people need every advantage they can get," Federspiel said.

Federspiel said the key to preventing underage drinking is through education, instead of enforcing stricter punishments on those who get caught.

"We've been able to reduce the number of minor in possession through education," Federspiel said. "That's what we believe we should be doing in Saginaw County. We're going to continue to work with our parents, teachers, principals and students."

The bills have passed the State Senate and now move on to the House for consideration.

Copyright 2016 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly
Powered by WorldNow CNN
All content © 2018, WNEM; Saginaw, MI. (A Meredith Corporation Station) . All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.