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According to Arizona Law, A.R.S. 4-244 (9), it is illegal for anyone under the age of twenty-one (21) to have possession of alcohol. This law is commonly referred to as “minor in possession” or “M.I.P.” Possession does not simply mean that you have the alcoholic beverage in your hand. Possession can also mean in your backpack, purse, pockets, locker, or anywhere in your vehicle. Furthermore, you can be cited for M.I.P. even when the alcohol beverage has not been opened because a M.I.P only requires proof of possession.

 

Q: What happens if I go into a store or bar to buy some alcohol?

A: Be prepared to show proof of your age. If you are under the legal drinking age and you misrepresent your age to any person to get them to sell or give you liquor, you may be convicted of a class 1 misdemeanor (A.R.S. §4-241(N)).

 

Q: But what if I don’t buy it myself?

A: If you are under the legal drinking age and you ask someone to buy or give you liquor, you may be convicted of a class 3 misdemeanor (A.R.S §4-241).

 

Q: What if I don’t buy the alcohol myself?

A: If you are under the legal drinking age and you ask someone to buy or give you liquor, you and the person buying the alcohol for you may be convicted of a class 3 misdemeanor (A.R.S. §4-241(M)).

 

Q: What if I am at party where alcohol is being served?

A: A person found guilty of providing alcohol to anyone under 21 is guilty of a class 1 misdemeanor (A.R.S. §13-3613).

 

Q: What happens if I use a fake ID?

A: If you are convicted of using a fake ID or license (A.R.S. §4-241), Arizona will suspend your driver’s license or your state ID and/or you will be denied the right to apply for a license for not less than six months for the first conviction and twelve months for a second or any thereafter (A.R.S. §28-3309(A & B)).

 

QWhat does the law say about adults drinking and driving who are not yet 21?

A: It is illegal for a person under 21 to drive or be in physical control of a motor vehicle while there is any alcohol in their body ((A.R.S §4-244(34)). Arizona will suspend your driver’s license or privilege to drive or refuse to issue a driver's license for two years if a person is 18, 19 or 20 years old who violates A.R.S. §28-3322 & A.R.S §4-244(34).

 

Q: What if I am hanging out with my friends drinking and I drive my jet ski?

A: It is illegal for a person under 21 to operate or be in physical control of a motorized watercraft that is underway while there is any alcohol in their body ((A.R.S §4-244(35)).

 

Laws may have changed since the last time this article was updated.  The current and most up-to-date laws can be accessed here.