MI Lawmakers Move To Ease Penalty For Underage Drinking

Michigan lawmakers are moving to lighten the penalty for underage drinking, making a first offense a civil infraction instead of a misdemeanor crime. The House on Tuesday voted for the change 105-1. The Senate, which passed the legislation previously, is expected to move it to Governor Rick Snyder soon. The maximum $100 fine would stay the same, and a minor could still be ordered to receive substance abuse services. The bill sponsor, Republican Sen. Rick Jones, says the minor-in-possession law is clogging up the courts and hurting young people’s ability to get into college or work. In 2014, there were about 9,300 first-offense convictions for underage drinking.