BloomLegalTV: New Orleans DUI Attorney Chats About Underage Drinking on Bourbon Street

Good afternoon, welcome to another one of our video blogs here at Bloom Legal. My name is Seth Bloom. Our offices are located at 700 Camp Street. I’m here to talk to you today about minors in possession of alcohol, or otherwise known as MIPs. This is something that we’ve talked about before on our blog, both on video blogs and written blogs, but it becomes… It seems to be a bigger and bigger area and issue of discussion, especially over the party seasons, as we just finished New Year’s and we’re about to approach the Mardi Gras season. Basically, there’s new federal funding, state funding, that is coming down from the city, that is enforcing underage drinking all over New Orleans and all over the state of Louisiana. A lot of times, people are confused because it is within the officer’s discretion of whether or not they want to arrest you, or whether or not they give you a criminal summons. People often call me and say, “Oh, I just got a ticket.” Well, that ticket is the same thing as an actual misdemeanor crime.

So, whether or not you’re arrested or whether or not you got that summons, it needs to be treated the same. The benefit of getting the summons is you don’t get to spend the night in the Orleans Parish Prison. And believe me, that’s something you don’t want to ever have to experience. A lot of times people will call me and say, “Oh well I just went in there and I paid the fine.” And, the fine is low. I think it’s $200 or $300 for getting an MIP. The problem is that’s on your permanent record. That’s a criminal conviction for a misdemeanor. So, you want to avoid that. You really need to talk to a lawyer in your jurisdiction about your rights and just be careful out there. If you’re walking on Bourbon Street and you’re holding a drink for a friend, whether it’s a hand grenade from the Tropical Isle, or a Hurricane from Pat O’Brien’s, you’re basically violating the law, if you’re under 21. So, you need to avoid that. If you’re over 21, you obviously don’t have this problem.

But, there are task force that are going all over the city. They are going into bars, especially the college bars uptown, near Tulane and Loyola, and they are arresting people or giving these summons. People need to be careful with these things and they need to get a lawyer who can explain to them their rights. Thank you for joining us today on my video blog. If you have any questions, please give us a call at 504-599-9997. Again, this isn’t meant to be legal advice, but just we’re talking generally about the topic of minor in possession of alcohol and if you have been given a summons or have been arrested, then you should hire an attorney or speak with an attorney in your specific jurisdiction that understand the details of your case. Thank you so much.

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