College students in Georgia and throughout the entire country may think there is no harm in letting loose on the weekends by drinking a couple of beers or taking a couple of shots of liquor, even when they are under the age of 21. However, underage students can actually face some very harsh consequences for drinking alcohol if they are caught by law enforcement authorities.
Underage drinking is very common the Athens area, according to local police. Although police do arrest some underage students in order to protect the students from making some dangerous mistakes that could harm others and themselves, some students and residents argue that local law enforcement officers spend too much time making unnecessary arrests.
In Georgia, police can issue a citation for underage drinking instead of arresting a minor for drinking alcohol. But in Athens, students are often arrested. According to a recent report, law enforcement officers and university police make about 1,000 arrests every year in Clarke County for underage alcohol-related offenses. This means nearly 20 minors are arrested each week for underage drinking.
It is one thing to be issued a citation, but when students are arrested, they are faced with living with a criminal record. This could result in serious, long-term consequences for local minors and college students. For example, folks may need to disclose an arrest with prospective employers. Students who are applying for graduate school or other professional programs will most likely need to disclose an arrest on their applications as well.
Additionally, fines and probation fees often follow an arrest, even for underage drinking. Some claim these fees motivate local police to make more arrests. However, police claim that the students and minors who are arrested are usually severely intoxicated.
Source: WSB-TV, “Underage drinkers arrested more often in Athens,” Nov. 1, 2012
- Our firm provides counsel to those who want to fight underage drinking charges in order to protect their futures. To learn more about our firm and practice, please visit our Athens, Georgia, student offenses page.