Minor in Possession Law and Legal Definition

Minor in possession is a criminal offense governed by state laws, which vary by state. Such laws govern the possession of alcoholic beverages by an underage person. It is typically a misdemeanor for anyone under 21 to possess alcohol. Anyone who is under the age of 21 and possesses alcohol in the United States, with the exception of special circumstances, is violating the law of the state

In the U.S., federal law establishes 21 as the national minimum drinking age. Underage drinking is also governed by state laws, which vary by state. In some states, it is a civil offense and in some states it is a criminal offense. As of 2005, 21 states do not specifically ban underage consumption and an additional 15 states have family member and/or location exceptions to their underage consumption laws.