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Are some parents to blame for underage alcohol charges?

| May 15, 2014 | Underage Drinking |

Teenagers and adults, regardless of their ages, have been having problems with alcohol for generations. In Georgia, the legal age for alcohol consumption is 21, and if authorities capture a teen drinking alcohol, he or she could face underage alcohol charges. Parents typically try to ensure that alcohol is not available at home and/or instruct their children not to drink such substances. Some wonder, however, if all parents really do that.

While many Georgia parents do take measures to keep alcohol out of reach of their teens, some have actually been known to allow their children to drink. Some parents even throw parties at home, in which they allow their children and friends of their children to drink alcohol. According to an alcohol responsibility website, approximately 70 percent of underage drinkers in the United States report that they participate in the consumption of alcohol in gatherings not supervised by a parent. Furthermore, approximately 40 percent said that they engaged in alcohol consumption at events where parents were actually present.

Underage drinking is not only physically dangerous to those who are doing it, but criminal responsibility could result — for them and for any adults who allow them to do it. If authorities capture a parent providing alcohol to their children or the children of others, they could face fines of $1,000 per each underage drinker to whom they gave alcohol. A misdemeanor charge is also possible, and if accidents or injuries result, the alcohol provider could even be liable for damages.

The criminal penalties associated with a conviction for underage alcohol charges are severe. Georgia parents who give alcohol to teenagers could also be held liable for property damage caused by drunk teenagers. Considering these consequences, teens and/or parents facing these charges will need to ensure that their legal rights are protected. A criminal charge is not the equivalent of a criminal conviction, and each accused individual has the right to defend against the accusations by challenging proffered evidence and fighting for a result that is in their own best interests.

Source: mysouthwestga.com, “Where are kids drinking or do parents already know?”, Rheya Spigner, May 5, 2014