Arizona Minor in Possession of Alcohol Charges and Penalties

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The State of Arizona has passed laws to discourage the possession of alcohol by people under the age of 21. These minor in possession (MIP) laws aim to reduce consumption of alcohol by minors. Underage drinking in Arizona is a problem because it leads to juveniles committing crimes, such as vandalism, driving under the influence, and disorderly conduct.

Drinking and Possessing Alcohol

Arizona allows people under 21 to be in a bar if they are accompanied by a parent, spouse or legal guardian who is 21 years or older, but the minor is not allowed to order an alcoholic beverage.

Minors Consuming Alcohol in Public

It is illegal for a person under the age of 21 to consume alcohol in public unless one of the following exceptions applies:

  • Liquor may be consumed by a minor if it was for a legitimate medical reason and does not endanger the health or safety of the public. Arizona Revised Statute 4-226
  • Liquor may be consumed by a minor in conjunction with a religious exercise or ceremony if it does not endanger the health or safety of the public. Arizona Revised Statute 4-249

Minors Illegally Obtaining Liquor

If you are under 21 and provide a fake id to obtain alcohol illegally from another person, you will be charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor offense. The penalties include:

  • up to six months in county jail, and
  • a fine of up to $2,500.

Arizona Revised Statute Section 4-241L

If you are under 21 and ask someone else to purchase, sell, or give you alcohol, you will be charged with a Class 3 misdemeanor offense. The penalties include:

  • up to 30 days in county jail, and
  • a fine of up to $500.

Arizona Revised Statute Section 4-241M

If you are under 21 and use a fake id or use the identification of another person to gain entrance to a place licensed to sell alcohol, you will be charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor offense. The penalties include:

  • up to six months in county jail, and
  • a fine of up to $2,500.

Arizona Revised Statute Section 4-241N

In addition to the above penalties, the court can suspend your driving privileges for up to 180 days.

Minors in Licensed Establishments

It is illegal for business owners who are licensed to dispense alcohol to allow anyone under 21.

Underage minors can be permitted to enter a business that serves alcohol if they are accompanied by a legal guardian, parent, or spouse who is of legal drinking age or if the minor is an employee currently on duty. Violating this law results in a Class 2 misdemeanor offense and the penalties include:

  • up to four months in county jail, and
  • a fine of up to $750.

Arizona Revised Statute Section 4-244

To learn more about the MIP laws, read Title 4 of the Arizona Revised Statutes. Contact an Arizona criminal defense attorney if you have been charged with violating the MIP laws.

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