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Underage drinking rate lower in Georgia compared to other states

A report released last month by the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration states that underage drinking is a "serious and persistent public health problem" in the United States.

Although underage drinking may seem like a minor offense in Georgia compared to other criminal offenses, including DUI, underage drinking can lead to a variety of problems for college students and other folks.

The report suggests that underage drinking can lead to long-term substance abuse problems. Underage drinkers could make poor decisions while under the influence that could result in injury or death. And college students, high school students and other underage residents could face serious criminal charges and penalties when caught drinking alcohol by local law enforcement authorities.

Every week, law enforcement authorities in the Athens area arrest students and other residents for underage drinking or underage DUI. Although the number of underage drinking arrests that are made in the area might seem high to some, the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration claims that the underage drinking rate in Georgia is actually one of the lowest in the country.

The agency's report is based on data gathered from the U.S. National Survey on Drug Use and Health. According to the survey, at least 26 percent of individuals between the ages of 12 and 20 had used alcohol within one month of responding to the national survey between 2008 and 2010. Nearly 10 percent claimed that they were able to purchase their own alcohol. The report was released by the agency on Nov. 20.

Underage drinking may seem like a minor offense, but in Athens, the offense could result in serious social and legal consequences. To avoid or minimize these consequences, folks may benefit from working with an experienced defense attorney.

Source: HealthDay News, "1 in 4 in U.S. starts drinking before turning 21: Report," Nov. 26, 2012

  • Our Athens, Georgia, firm provides counsel to those who want to fight underage drinking charges and other alcohol-related offenses. To learn more about our firm and practice, please visit our student offenses page.