Minor in Consumption Laws in Texas
Understanding Underage Drinking Laws in Texas
Per the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC), minors are not allowed
to purchase, attempt to purchase, possess, or consume any type of alcoholic
beverage. Generally speaking, the term Minor in Consumption (MIC) refers to a
criminal citation that involves a minor consuming alcohol. Technically, the term
"minor in consumption" is a misnomer because a legal minor is
anyone less than 18 years of age. However, in reality, any individual
under the age of 21 can receive an MIC citation.
In Texas, MIC and other alcohol-related offenses are punishable by the
- Community Service
What is Minor in Consumption?
You are likely to receive an MIC citation if you are less than 21 years
old and a law enforcement officer is able to reasonably establish that
you are intoxicated or that you have consumed alcohol. In order to receive
a MIC citation, law enforcement must be able to reasonably demonstrate
that the minor illegally consumed alcohol. If the minor did not actually
consume any alcoholic beverage, but was found with alcohol in their possession,
he/she may be charged with the alternative charge of
minor in possession.
Underage Drinking Statistics
In the U.S., individuals under than 21 years of age are not allowed to
drink. However, about 11% of all alcohol consumed in the United States
is consumed by minors. According to the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention (CDC), underage drinking is a major public health concern in
the United States. The CDC indicates that alcohol is the most commonly
abused substance by young people in the U.S.—even more than tobacco
and illegal drugs. According to the CDC, almost 5,000 young people are
killed by underage drinking in the United States every year. Because of
this, the CDC and law enforcement are committed to creating awareness
and preventing future underage drinking.
In a recent Youth Risk Behavior survey, the CDC discovered that almost
40% of high school students had consumed alcohol within the preceding
30 days from when the survey was taken. Another 22% participated in binge
drinking and about 8% admitted to driving after consuming alcohol. Additionally,
24% of high school students admitted to riding with an intoxicated driving
in the past 30 days. In order to prevent underage drinking, the CDC believes
that community-based efforts and enforcement programs should be employed.
This includes legal drinking age law enforcement.
What are the Consequences of MIC?
Receiving any type of criminal conviction can mar your reputation and carry
significant legal penalties. In Texas, minors who consume alcohol may
receive a Minor in Consumption citation and be required to pay a $500
fine. Subsequent MIC convictions may also result in mandatory drug/alcohol
awareness and education classes and up to 40 hours of community service.
Additionally, an MIC in Texas is punishable by up to 180 days confinement
in jail and 180 drivers' license suspension. In addition to the serious
legal consequences associated with MIC, the CDC lists a multitude of problems
caused by underage drinking.
According to the CDC, underage drinking may also result in problems at
school (such as poor attendance or grades), alcohol poisoning, drug abuse,
changes in brain development and other problems. Underage drinking may
also be responsible for unwanted, unprotected and unplanned sexual activity,
sexual assault, and physical assault.
If you or your child is facing an MIC citation, contact a lawyer from The
Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC today. With a high-quality Plano criminal defense
lawyer on your side, you can have peace of mind that your case is in good hands.
Contact us today!