It was August, 2005. I was just arriving to freshman orientation at Truman State University and the RA for my floor told everyone of a recent law change that was taking effect within days. The Missouri legislature had recently changed the Minor in Possession (MIP) laws to allow law enforcement and county prosecutors to prove that a minor was in possession of alcohol by consumption.
Not quite understanding the significance of the law change, many of us continued on as any other freshman class arriving to college for the first time. Little by little, I would see friends around me come back to the dorm after a Thursday night party with a minor in possession ticket. You would hear stories about how campus police would target students walking home from parties. Seemed a little harsh given that all they were doing was trying to destress after turning in a paper or taking a midterm exam.
The law is still the same today as it was during my first fall semester of college. In Missouri you can receive an MIP if you have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .02% and the consequences are significant. Under Missouri’s abuse and lose law, a single MIP ticket can result in jail time, fines, and a possible 30 day suspension of your driver’s license.
While at Truman State, I was a member of a fraternity. I saw many of my fellow brothers get caught in this situation and I know how easy it is for law enforcement to target students. If you get an MIP, don’t blow off your ticket. You have rights and you should protect them. Contact my office today to help.