Spring break is right around the corner, and many college students will be headed down to Florida. A chance to unwind on area beaches is something that many have been looking forward to almost as soon as the school year started. Once the vacation has been booked, all you need to do is get ready for a week in the sun.
Whether you are a Florida native coming to Okaloosa County or a student visiting us from another state, you need to know that there are very harsh penalties that can result if you are convicted of a minor in possession charge. Law enforcement is very aggressive during spring break, and if you are underage and drinking, you could find yourself facing some significant consequences going forward.
Minor in possession charges (MIP)
This is perhaps the most common ticket that an underage drinker could receive. It is a second-degree misdemeanor in most cases, unless the student has multiple prior offenses. A second-degree misdemeanor has the potential of carrying up to 60 days in jail as well as fines and other penalties.
In addition, there are other potential issues that could cause problems for someone under 21 who receives a citation for MIP. This includes the possible loss of a scholarship, as well as the fact that if convicted, the student will have a criminal record. Employers may see this as part of a background check, and move along to other applicants. In some circumstances, the conviction of something even so minor as this could prevent them from being able to work in certain occupations.
Some may try to get around MIP charges by using fake IDs. Know that if you use a fake, the penalties are just as severe if you are caught. You can still receive jail time, as well as fines that could run in the thousands of dollars.
If you find yourself facing minor in possession or other underage alcohol offenses, know that you have to take action to protect your future. A conviction for these charges can make things difficult for you at a very critical time in your life, and make it hard for you to start out your chosen career. Learn more about all of your options before you make any decisions in your case.