A minor found in possession of alcohol or drugs, regardless of whether they had consumed the substance or not, can be charged with violation of MIP laws. Minor in possession laws were created by state governments to educate minors of the dangers of drinking and driving, involve minors in community service and help them get medical help or therapy for a dependency problem.
Different states observe different standards of punishment for minors in possession. Typically, it is considered a misdemeanor. Most states have less severe punishments for first-time offenders. They may be put on probation, with more severe punishments on subsequent convictions. In California, first-time offenders may have their driving license suspended for a year. Other states may require multiple MIP convictions before taking away the driver's license.