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Underage drinking laws in Georgia

Georgia parents of teenagers may be concerned about the issue of underage drinking in the state and the potential impact of a DWI conviction on a young person's life and future. The state of Georgia places a good deal of responsibility for the monitoring of alcohol possession and consumption in the hands of parents and legal guardians. For example, underage consumption of alcohol is not explicitly prohibited by state law.

However, there are strict laws governing a minor in possession of alcohol and underage drinking and driving. Drivers under the age of 21 are subject to DUI charges if they register a blood-alcohol content of .02 percent and above as opposed to the .08 percent BAC limit for adult drivers. Additionally, minors who are convicted for possessing alcohol while operating a motor vehicle may face a driver's license suspension of 180 days.

In addition to strict legal penalties for an underage driver convicted on DUI charges, there may be serious personal consequences. A DUI conviction will appear on an individual's criminal record and may negatively impact future educational and employment opportunities. Many colleges and employers may be reluctant to admit or hire someone with a DUI conviction in his or her background. Some may even have policies preventing them from hiring someone with a previous DUI conviction.

A criminal defense attorney may answer questions regarding underage drinking and driving and help to prepare a defense strategy on behalf of an underage driver. If there has been a clear violation of a defendant's rights, it might make sense to fight the case in court. 

Source: Alcohol Policy Information System, "State Profiles of Underage Drinking Laws", July 18, 2014