City of Mt. Pleasant, MI – Minor in Possession

City of Mt. Pleasant, Michigan ordinance § 132.03 prohibits the possession, consumption, or purchase of alcoholic beverages in the City of Mt. Pleasant by people under the age of 21. The penalty for a first violation is a fine  of $100 plus community service and substance abuse screening and assessment at his or her own expense.

Unconstitutional PBT Requirement

Mt. Pleasant Ordinance § 132.07 purports to require any person who is 21 years of age to submit to a preliminary breath test (PBT) when a peace officer has reasonable cause to believe that the minor has consumed alcohol. The ordinance makes it a civil infraction to refuse. A civil infraction is not criminal and the only penalty is a monetary fine.

Recently, in City of Troy v Chowdhury, 285 Mich App 509; 775 NW2d 845 (2009), the Michigan Court of Appeals held that a nearly identical City of Troy ordinance requiring minors to submit to a breath test without a search warrant was unconstitutional. This issue was also recognized by Platte v Thomas Twp, 504 F.Supp2d 227 (2007).

In short, just because you’re under 21, you don’t lose your constitutional right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. Generally speaking, when requested or demanded by a police officer to submit to a PBT, you should decline the request. Of course, you should never resist a police officer as doing so can be a felony. However, you should politely ask if you’re required to submit. The officer will probably tell you that it’s your choice.

Fight your MIP

A MIP charge is criminal and will remain on your criminal history for potential employers to view. If you’re facing MIP charges, you owe it to yourself to fight the charges. To discuss how we can defense your case,  please call our office at 989-283-1300.