The holidays are here, and as we mentioned earlier this month on our Athens DUI defense law blog, “Operation Zero Tolerance,” is in effect in Georgia through New Year’s Day. We hope that everyone traveling has a safe and happy holiday. And we also hope that those who do choose to drink will find a sober ride home.
In Georgia, drivers who are 21 and older could face DUI charges for having a blood alcohol content of 0.08 or higher. DUI charges also carry a variety of harsh consequences, especially if a suspected drunk driver is involved in a motor vehicle accident. Many folks are aware of the consequences drivers could face for operating a vehicle while intoxicated, but folks should also remember that parents and other adults could face serious charges for allowing minors to drink alcohol in their homes.
If a minor leaves a party without an adult knowing and gets pulled over by police, the minor could face underage DUI charges and the adult responsible for providing alcohol to the minor, or even owning the property where underage drinking occurred, could face harsh criminal charges and consequences, too.
Counties and municipalities in more than 20 states have enacted social host ordinances in an effort to reduce underage drinking and other alcohol-related offenses committed by individuals who are not of the legal age to consume alcohol. These ordinances hold adults liable for allowing minors to host parties where alcohol is being consumed on their party, even when adults are not responsible for providing alcohol to teens.
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Kennesaw in Cobb County is the latest municipality to enact a social host ordinance. Adults or landlords could face charges and penalties for allowing minors to drink on their property. Penalties for the offense could include fines or even jail time.
Source: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “Kennesaw to punish adult party hosts for underage drinking,” Andria Simmons, Dec. 19, 2012
- Our Athens, Georgia, firm provides counsel to those who have been accused of DUI, underage DUI, or other alcohol-related offenses. To learn more about our firm and practice, please visit our firm’s underage DUI page.