Minor in possession (MIP) laws in Arkansas aim to curb the use and abuse of alcohol by young people. Until recently, MIP laws punished minors only if they were caught holding an alcoholic beverage or if alcohol was found in the minor’s vehicle. However, on July 27, 2011, a new law went into effect that impacts how law enforcement combats underage drinking: If you are under age 21 and an officer confirms that you have alcohol in your body, this will be considered possession and a citation will be issued.
In Arkansas, it is illegal for any person under the age of 21 to purchase or possess beer, wine, or liquor. Here are the penalties for violating this law:
Arkansas Code Annotated 3-3-203
It is also illegal for any adult to purchase beer, wine, or liquor on behalf of someone under the age of 21. Any person who unknowingly sells or gives liquor to a minor will be guilty of violating state law. The penalties include:
Arkansas Code Annotated 3-3-201
It is illegal for any person to knowingly provide any alcoholic beverage to a person under the age of 21. This section does not apply to serving a family member or using wine in a religious ceremony. The penalties include:
It is unlawful for any person to sell an alcoholic beverage to a person under age 21 in exchange for money or other item of value. The penalties include:
Arkansas Code Annotated 3-3-202
It is unlawful for anyone under 21 to handle, sell, or transport alcoholic beverages except:
Violating this section will result in a fine of no less than $10 and no more than $100. The Alcoholic Beverage Control Division can cancel, revoke or suspend the license or permit of the business.
Arkansas Code Annotated 3-3-204
To learn more about the MIP laws in Arkansas, read the Arkansas Criminal Code Statutes. If you have been cited for violating the law or charged with a crime, contact an Arkansas criminal defense lawyer for assistance.