Underage Drinking


The policy topics, below, address statues and regulations related to underage drinking and access to alcohol.

Internal possession is prohibited with NO EXCEPTIONS.

Purchase is prohibited, but youth MAY PURCHASE for law enforcement purposes.

Furnishing is prohibited with NO EXCEPTIONS.

There is an affirmative defense if the minor is not charged.

  • Beer: 18 for both servers and bartenders
  • Wine: 18 for both servers and bartenders
  • Spirits: 18 for both servers and bartenders

Provision(s) targeting minors:

  • Use of a false ID to obtain alcohol is a criminal offense
  • No driver's license suspension procedure

Provision(s) targeting suppliers:

  • It is a criminal offense to lend, transfer, or sell a false ID

Provision(s) targeting retailers:

  • Licenses for drivers under age 21 are easily distinguishable from those for drivers age 21 and older
  • Specific affirmative defense - the retailer inspected the false ID and came to a reasonable conclusion based on its appearance that it was valid

Prior to July 1, 2003, Michigan's operator's licenses and official state personal identification cards issued to a person who at the time of application was 20-1/2 years of age or less, indicated that the cardholder was less than 21 years of age.Although the authority of a retail licensee to confiscate an allegedly false identification is not explicit, the licensee shall present the alleged fraudulent identification to local law enforcement if it is in the possession of the licensee upon filing a police report concerning the violation. See also Affirmative Defense: Minor Not Charged in the Furnishing Alcohol to Minors policy topic.

BAC limit: 0.00 - any detectable alcohol in the blood is per se (conclusive) evidence of a violation.

Applies to drivers under age 21.

Keg definition: 5 or more gallons


  • destroying the label on a keg - max. fine/jail: $500 / 93 days

Purchaser information collected:

  • purchaser's name and address
  • verified by a government-issued ID

Warning information to purchaser: active – purchaser action required (e.g., signature)

Deposit required: $30

Provisions do not specifically address disposable kegs

Pursuant to Mich. Admin. Code r. 436.1629, the deposit amount is set by "[a] manufacturer, an outstate seller of beer, or a wholesaler of beer" at “a minimum of $30.00 for all refillable containers of beer with a capacity of over 5 gallons.” Mich. Comp. Laws s. 436.2030 requires retailers to “[r]
etain a keg deposit as specified in R 436.1629,” and defines a “keg” as “any brewery-sealed individual container having liquid capacity of 5 gallons or more.”

Social host law is specifically limited to underage drinking parties.

Action by underage guest that triggers violation: Possession Consumption

Property type(s) covered by liability law:

  • Residence
  • Outdoor
  • Other

Standard for hosts' knowledge or action regarding the party: KNOWLEDGE - host must have actual knowledge of the occurrence

Preventive action by the host negates the violation (see note).


  • Family
  • Resident

Michigan's social host statute does not apply if all individuals attending the social gathering are members of the same household or immediate family, or if a minor's use, consumption, or possession of an alcoholic beverage is for religious purposes. The "preventive action" provision in Michigan allows the prosecution to establish guilt by proving that the host failed to take preventive action.