MIP charges at Savannah College of Art and Design
College is a remarkable time in every person’s life. It is the transitional period between youth and adulthood. Sadly, this transition rarely takes place without making a few mistakes. Everyone does it, just not everyone gets caught. Alcohol tends to be a driving factor in many of these mistakes. It makes sense; it’s more readily available in college, there is a mixing of young and older students hanging out and partying, and as a young college student you’re still developing what you like and don’t like about the adult world.
Most people have to try alcohol at least once before placing it in a “like” or “dislike” category. And most college students do this within their first year, before they’ve hit the legal drinking age of 21. Rarely are these students thinking about the consequences of their decisions. After all, you’re among friends, and students a few years ahead of you are participating so it must be safe. However just because the police don’t show up to your first party, doesn’t mean you’ll never encounter them. No college party with underage drinking is ever truly safe. The neighbors could call about the noise, a fight between two testosterone-filled young men could break out, or perhaps the police were just driving by and wanted to check things out.
If you’re a minor in this scenario, there is no hiding from the cops. Whatever you do, don’t run. Remain calm and don’t say anything. You have the constitutional right to remain silent, and I suggest you use it.
Just because it’s not your house or you didn’t buy the alcohol or even put the drink in your hand doesn’t make you innocent but many people try to use this excuse because they don’t know the entire law. The law states that “no person under 21 years of age shall purchase, attempt to purchase, or knowingly possess any alcoholic beverage…” The law also states that no person under 21 shall have alcohol purchased for them. So just by being there, you’re on the wrong side of the law.
Remember though that you also have the right to refuse any sobriety tests they offer you. No matter how well you did on your sobriety test, the truth is it just doesn’t matter. Police officers know when you’re intoxicated, they’re trained for that sort of thing, so regardless of any tests or questions you’re likely going to jail. What you don’t need to do is give them any more evidence to use against you.
Unless you’re charged with another crime that night, you’ll more than likely be released the next day and you should contact my office immediately. If you followed the steps listed above, we have a very good defense already in place to fight your case.
While this experience should still be a lesson to you, it doesn’t need to be a lesson that will haunt you for the rest of your life.