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State Law In

Michigan

What does state law say?

It is a violation of the law to knowingly allow possession or consumption of an alcoholic beverage or controlled substance by an underage person.

DEFINITIONS WITHIN THE LAW:
“Social gathering” is defined as an assembly of two or more individuals for any purpose, unless all of the individuals attending the assembly are members of the same household or immediate family.

SETTINGS COVERED:
Settings covered by the law are premises or residences. “Premises” is defined as a permanent or temporary place of assembly, other than a residence, including, but not limited to, any of the following: 1. a meeting hall, meeting room, or conference room; 2. a public or private park. “Residence” is defined as a permanent or temporary place of dwelling, including, but not limited to, any of the following:  1. a house, apartment, condominium, or mobile home; 2. a cottage, cabin, trailer, or tent; 3. a motel unit, hotel unit, or bed and breakfast unit.

What happens if an adult breaks the law?

Adults who are charged with this violation face a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than 30 days or by a fine of not more than $1,000, or both. For a second or subsequent violation the person is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than 90 days or by a fine of not more than $1,000, or both.

Can adult do anything to rescind the violation?

A host may attempt to rebut the presumption that the they
allowed the consumption or posession of an alcoholic beverage or controlled substance and:
1. had control over the premises, residence, or other real property.
2. knew that a minor was consuming or
3. failed to take corrective action.

Can the adult be sued?

The State of Michigan has not enacted a law regarding civil penalties for social hosting.  In the absence of a statute, case law has established civil liability in the case of social hosting of minors.  In Longstreth v Gensel, the Supreme Court based the social host cause of action on negligence principles based on the prohibition of furnishing alcohol to a person who is not at least 21 years old. In Reinert v Dolezel, the Court of Appeals held that the social host must actually provide the alcoholic beverages.  However, the Reinert court suggested that the result might be different if the imbibers were under age 18 because the parents would then have a duty to supervise their minor children.

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Are there local laws that I should be aware of?

It is possible. Check with your local municipality since there are some communities that enact additional local ordinances which can include fines and other penalties.