Bill lightens penalty for underage drinking

Posted at 3:57 PM, Dec 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-06 15:57:34-05

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan lawmakers are moving to lighten the penalty for underage drinking, making a first offense a civil infraction instead of a misdemeanor crime.

The House on Tuesday voted for the change 105-1. The Senate, which passed the legislation previously, is expected to move it to Gov. Rick Snyder soon.

The maximum $100 fine would stay the same, and a minor could still be ordered to receive substance abuse services.

The bill sponsor, Republican Sen. Rick Jones, says the minor-in-possession law is clogging up the courts and hurting young people’s ability to get into college or work.

In 2014, there were about 9,300 first-offense convictions for underage drinking.