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Penalties for teen alcohol use may be reduced


A bill that would reduce the consequences for minors caught with alcohol in Michigan is awaiting the governor's signature.


Current law calls for those under 21 who are caught drinking to be charged with a misdemeanor, have their drivers license suspended, fined $500, and spend up to 90 days in jail.


The new bill would make a first offense a civil infraction and a driver's license would be suspended only after a second offense.


Police would request, rather than require, a breath test if they suspect a minor has been drinking and refusing that test would no longer be a civil infraction and that minor would no longer be arrested based on the results of a breath test.


Court records show there were over 9,000 first time offenders convicted in 2014.



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