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Athens GA DUI Law Blog

Georgia teen kills himself after police break up party

Fulton County authorities say that a 14-year-old high school student took his own life the day after police were called to a party at his home that allegedly involved underage drinking and marijuana use. According to the medical examiner's office, the teen shot himself.

The boy's parents were away at the time of the party at the family's home in Milton. He was left with his 20-year-old sister, who reportedly was participating in the activities.

Helping college students fight alcohol and drug-related charges

One of the most frightening experiences a parent can face is learning that their child was arrested. Even kids who have never been in trouble with the law sometimes make poor decisions when they go away to college and don't have mom and dad keeping tabs on them.

Alcohol and drugs can be plentiful on and around campus. Sometimes kids who come to the University of Georgia from other states aren't familiar with the legal age for drinking.

The dangers of underage drinking for teens and preteens

Many parents of teens and even preteens would be shocked to learn just how easy it is for their kids to get ahold of alcohol. The dangers of overconsumption of alcohol for young people can be particularly dangerous because they may not know when to say when.

As one doctor notes, the frontal lobe in many teens is not fully developed, so their decision-making skills still need some work. Of course, as with most everyone, alcohol can also impact reaction time, balance, motor concentration, concentration and attention.

Why parents are installing ignition interlock devices in cars

Ignition interlock devices are often ordered for people who have been convicted of one or more DUIs in order for offenders to get their driver's licenses back. IIDs are essentially Breathalyzers connected to the ignition that determine whether drivers have alcohol on their breath. If they do, their vehicles won't start.

States that require IIDs for all people convicted of DUIs have seen a significant reduction in drunk-driving fatalities. Some 22 states require them for even first time DUI convictions.

Talk to your kids about drinking before holiday parties begin

As the holiday season rolls around, along with the attendant social gatherings, there will be more opportunities than ever for young people under the legal drinking age to have access to alcohol. Even if they're not exposed to it at parties with friends, teens and even younger kids often get a hold of alcohol from their own homes from bars and kitchens stocked for parties.

Kids who have little or no experience with alcohol can suffer serious physical effects from even a few drinks. Consuming a large amount of alcohol in a short period can be fatal. There can be legal ramifications as well. In Georgia, they could face a minor in possession charge for possessing and/or consuming alcohol.

How can energy drinks lead to drunk driving?

Many University of Georgia students, like college students around the country, have come to rely on energy drinks to provide the caffeine they need to stay awake and alert through the night to cram for exams and finish papers. These highly-caffeinated drinks, if overused, can present some health dangers. However, combining them with alcohol, as many students do, can pose particularly serious risks.

Warnings by the Food and Drug Administration in 2010 have largely resulted in energy drinks containing alcohol being removed from the marketplace in the U.S. However, it's easy enough for students to combine alcohol and energy drinks on their own.

Michael's Law now in effect in Georgia

As homecoming week at the University of Georgia unfolds, it's a good time to review a law that took effect this summer that can impact the festivities.

On July 1, Michael's Law went into effect, preventing those who are younger than 21 from being employed as bouncers in bars, among other things. The law was named for Michael Gatto, a student at Georgia Southern University who died in a Statesboro bar after getting into an altercation with a bouncer. The bouncer, who was 20 at the time, was sentenced this week to 20 years in prison.

Can seeking medical amnesty protect you from charges?

One of the major risks of underage drinking is alcohol poisoning. Unlike many seasoned drinkers with years of imbibing under their belts, underage drinkers do not realize their limitations when it comes to illegal consumption of alcohol.

Because they are not supposed to be in possession of alcohol at all, underage drinkers may "chug" their drinks surreptitiously to avoid detection by police, parents or other authorities. This can cause alcohol levels to rise dangerously fast and threaten the young drinkers' lives.

Don't count on an expungement to wipe a DUI off your record

Youthful exuberance often is responsible for some bad decisions, and sometimes the consequences of those bad decisions can have lasting repercussions. As a college town, there is a lot of revelry that goes on in Athens, and some of it involves underage drinking and drinking and driving.

When you are young and carefree, you may think that getting a DUI conviction on your record is not that big of a deal. You may even think that you can wind up getting your record wiped at some future point and it will all be behind you.

Police arrest allegedly drunk, distracted driver

One sure way to draw the attention of police is to zone out in an intersection in your vehicle while checking your phone. If it's in the middle of the night and your headlights are off, you're even more of a sitting duck.

Yet one student at the University of Georgia did just that and wound up arrested for drunken driving. Police spotted him as described above in his SUV in the center of an intersection on the west side of town.