Mississippi Minor in Possession of Alcohol Laws

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Legal Age For Drinking or Possessing Alcohol

In most situations in Mississippi, anyone younger than 21 years old who purchases, receives or possesses any alcoholic beverage in a public place may be convicted of a misdemeanor and subjected to a fine between $200 and $500.

Miss. Code Ann. § 67-1-81 (2)

Exceptions for Underage Possession

In Mississippi, a minor is not in possession of alcohol if he or she is:

  • Clearing tables of glasses that contain or did contain alcohol
  • Stocking alcoholic beverages during the course of business
  • Bagging or handling purchased alcohol during the course of business.

Miss. Code Ann. § 67-1-81 (2)

Waiter or Waitress Exception

A minor between the ages of 18 and 21 who is working as a waiter or waitress for a business that owns a retailer’s permit may take orders for and deliver alcoholic beverages as part of his or her job. This exception does not allow any minor to tend bar or act as a bartender.

Miss. Code Ann. § 67-1-81 (2)

Illegal to Misrepresent Age

In Mississippi, it is illegal for any person younger than 21 years of age to state that he or she is over 21 years of age for the purpose of buying alcohol. It is also illegal for any minor to present any document that falsely states he or she is over 21 years of age for the purpose of buying alcohol. A minor that violates this statute is guilty of a misdemeanor and will face a fine from $200 to $500, as well as up to 30 days of community service.

Miss. Code Ann. § 67-1-81(2)

Illegal Sale to Minor

Mississippi prohibits any person or business from selling, giving or disposing of any alcoholic beverage to a person younger than 21 years of age. It is also illegal for any person or business to cause any alcoholic beverage to be sold, disposed of, or given to a minor. Violators of this section may be charged with a misdemeanor and face a fine between $500-$1,000 for a first offense. For a second offense, an offender will face a fine between $1,000 and $2,000, and up to 1 year in jail. If the violator owns a permit to sell alcohol, it will be automatically and permanently revoked.  

Miss. Code Ann. § 67-1-81(1)

Minor’s Driver’s License Suspended As Alternative Penalty

Mississippi law allows a trial judge to suspend any fines or penalties placed on a minor who has pled guilty to purchasing, receiving, or possessing alcoholic beverages in a public place in exchange for an alternative sentence. In lieu of the usual fines and penalties, a trial judge may suspend an offending minor’s driver’s license for up to 90 days and place the defendant on probation subject to conditions the trial judge deems appropriate. If the minor completes the probationary term, the offender’s license will be returned and a conviction will not be entered against the offender. However, if a minor on probation violates any conditions of probation set by the judge, the trial judge will return the driver’s license to the offending minor, a conviction will be entered into the record, and the original fines and penalties against the minor will be enforced. 

Miss. Code Ann. § 67-1-81 (4)

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