There are many laws and regulations concerning alcohol in Michigan. These rules dictate who may consume alcohol as well as where and when it may be sold. It is important to understand Michigan's alcohol laws, as violating them may lead to serious penalties, such as fines and even jail time.
The legal age to consume alcohol in Michigan is 21. However, 18 is the legal age to work in a restaurant that serves alcohol as a server or bartender. An 18-year-old may also handle wine, beer, and liquor in a package store.
In Michigan, beer and wine and spirits may all be sold in privately-owned retail stores. Alcohol cannot be sold from 2 a.m. to 7 a.m. Monday through Saturday or before noon on Sunday.
Michigan does have an Open Container Law, which states that no one in a vehicle, even passengers, may consume alcohol. Because of this, opened bottles of alcohol must be transported in the trunk of the vehicle where the driver and passengers are unable to access it.
The legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit is .08 percent. If a driver is over this legal limit, he or she is considered "per se intoxicated" and will be charged with driving under the influence. The penalties for a DUI conviction include jail time, community service, loss of driving privileges, and fines. Multiple offenders face greater consequences, and may be ordered to have an ignition interlock device installed in their vehicles.
Zero Tolerance laws were passed in order to deter driver under the age of 21 from drinking and driving. The legal limit for minors is .02 percent. The penalties for violating Michigan's Zero Tolerance laws are community service and fines.
Michigan's Implied Consent Law requires individuals who are suspected of drunk driving to comply with an officer's request to take a chemical test to determine blood alcohol content (BAC). Refusing to take the chemical test will result in a possible one year driver's license suspension for the first DUI conviction and a two-year license suspension for the second offense.
If you have recently been charged with violating Michigan's alcohol laws, it is important to speak with an experienced defense attorney today.