This is the time of year when 18 year olds from all over the state are getting ready for their first year at college. For many, this means being away from home for the first time. Mom will no longer be hollering at you to get up in the morning and dad will not be waiting at the front door at midnight expecting you home before curfew. Freedom is a wonderful thing but also comes with dangers and temptations.

The first few days and weeks at college can be described as one big party. College town explodes with excitement over the start of a new college year. New friends, new faces and land mines are everywhere. For some kids, alcohol has never been an issue. Either they never tried it, drank only a few times or in some cases too often. For those who never drank, alcohol is easy to come by. Peer pressure has you taking that first drink which leads to more. Students find themselves walking down main street drunk and in some cases falling down or passing out. In most college towns, police are out in force making sure that everyone is safe while celebrating a new year of college. If you or your child happens to consume too much alcohol and is approached by police, the outcome could be a misdemeanor charge. If you are 21 years or older and are found in public with an open container of alcohol, you could be charged with open intoxicants which carries up to 90 days in jail and a $500 fine. If under 21 years of age, you could be charged with Minor in Possession or consumption of alcohol (MIP). This charge carries no jail and up to $250 fine. In both cases, the officer has the option to place you under arrest or hand you a ticket to appear in court. A more severe case is where the student is approached by a police officer and in a blink of an eye takes off running. In this instant, everything goes from bad to extreme worse. Fleeing and Eluding /Resisting Arrest is a felony charge in most cases. I suggest that when told by any law enforcement officer to stop… you stop! The best way to avoid all the above situations is to obey the laws.

Good luck to all first year freshmen,

Todd Levitt, Lawyer 989-772-6000 free consultations