Thinking and Drinking

Refresh yourself on BR’s drinking laws

by Published: Jun 10, 2013

Sweet sum­mer­time is finally here. School’s out, and for many col­lege stu­dents, that means it’s time to party.

Not so fast though, Ferris State.

With good weather and new­found free­dom, it’s easy to for­get to use com­mon sense. Before you slam that Summer Shandy, take a minute to refresh your­self on the drink­ing laws of Big Rapids.

Open intox

No one, regard­less of age, may be on pub­lic prop­erty with open intoxicants.

It is against the law to con­sume any alco­holic bev­er­age on any street, side­walk, park­way, alley or park­ing lot open to the pub­lic. Students vio­lat­ing this law who are under the legal drink­ing age of 21 will be given minor in pos­ses­sion (MIP) tick­ets, while older stu­dents will be issued open intox­i­cant tick­ets, both misdemeanors.

In addi­tion, it is ille­gal to trans­port any alco­holic bev­er­age in a con­tainer which is open or uncapped (this includes the seal being bro­ken) on pub­lic property.

Making it or tak­ing it

The use of fake IDs is pro­hib­ited. A per­son who sup­plies fraud­u­lent iden­ti­fi­ca­tion to a per­son less than 21 years of age is guilty of a mis­de­meanor. Similarly, a per­son who uses false iden­ti­fi­ca­tion to pur­chase alco­holic liquor or to enter a busi­ness where alco­holic liquor is sold is guilty of a misdemeanor.

Minors at keggers

The Michigan Liquor Control Commission requires every keg sold to have a spe­cial state-issued tag which includes the name of the per­son who pur­chased the keg. If the tag is removed, the per­son who pur­chased it will not get their deposit back. The law was put in place in order to make it eas­ier to trace peo­ple who pro­vide beer to minors at keg parties.

Stop and blow

A police offi­cer who has rea­son­able cause to believe a minor has con­sumed alco­holic liquor may require the stu­dent to sub­mit to a pre­lim­i­nary chem­i­cal breath analy­sis. While it is the individual’s right to refuse a PBT, refusal may result in a fine and/or costs assessed by the court.

However, offi­cers must be able to artic­u­late a rea­son they are stop­ping stu­dents on the street.

Seek med­ical help with­out fear of an MIP

As of June 1, 2012, a new statewide med­ical amnesty pol­icy went into effect, which pre­vents peo­ple under the age of 21 from receiv­ing an MIP if they seek med­ical attention.

Under the bill signed by Republican Gov. Rick Snyder, minors who seek med­ical atten­tion for alco­hol poi­son­ing either for them­selves or another per­son will be granted amnesty from prosecution.