Alcoholic Beverages

For the ordinance regarding Alcoholic Beverages go to

State Law

Michigan Law prohibits, among other things, possession, purchase, and consumption of alcoholic beverages by persons under 21 years of age. It also prohibits the sale and furnishing of alcoholic beverages to persons under 21 years of age.

There is a potential for legal responsibility when an individual, even if unlicensed, furnishes alcoholic beverages to persons under 21 years of age. If a minor to whom the beverage was furnished subsequently has an accident attributable to the beverage, then the unlicensed furnisher may be found to be legally liable.

Also under state law, open or unsealed containers of alcoholic beverages may not be transported in the passenger compartment of motor vehicles.

Students are encouraged to become familiar with their responsibilities under the State Liquor Control Act, which may be found in the MSU Library.

East Lansing Ordinances

East Lansing ordinances prohibit the possession of any alcoholic beverage in an open container or a container with a broken seal in any public place or private area open to the public, except a licensed liquor establishment or elsewhere as provided by ordinance. Partying and tailgating on public property with alcoholic beverages is prohibited within the city’s jurisdiction.

City ordinance also prohibits the use of any type of false identification to enter a bar or to purchase liquor from a carry-out store and requires liquor establishments to confiscate suspected false identification and turn it over to the Police Department.

Students are encouraged to become familiar with their responsibilities under East Lansing Ordinances, which may be obtained at East Lansing City Hall.

Zero Tolerance

Michigan has a “zero tolerance” policy for drivers under 21, meaning their blood alcohol concentration cannot exceed .02 percent. This means that even one beer is too many.

Minors who have been consuming, possessing or purchasing alcohol are subject to arrest resulting in a misdemeanor and a criminal record. Penalties may include fines, community service, suspension of driver’s license, and substance abuse screening at the individual’s expense. Suspension of the driver’s license can occur whether or not the individual was driving at the time of arrest. Repeated offenses result in more severe penalties.

Use of fraudulent identification to purchase alcohol is also a misdemeanor and may result in fines, loss of license, and substance abuse screening.

Anyone 21 or older who furnishes alcohol to a minor will be fined $1,000 and face up to 60 days in jail.

Student Group Regulations, Administrative Rulings, All-University Policies, and Selected Ordinances