Thinking and drinking

Refresh yourself on BR’s drinking laws

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.