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Underage drivers should be taught about the dangers of DUIs

There are many college and high school students who live in or visit Athens, Georgia (Clarke County). Some of them, unfortunately, engage in underage drinking. When they drink and drive, those students may find themselves facing DUI charges and in need of legal defense.

When underage students are wrapped up in the excitement of social situations, they often accept alcohol because everyone around them is drinking. They may not, however, consider the ramifications of drinking for the drive home that they'll need to make later. This results in an extremely dangerous situation that can result in those underage student drivers, their passengers, people in other vehicles and pedestrians getting injured or killed in crashes.

Even if there are no injuries, a DUI can affect the underage driver's life for a long time. In accordance with the laws of Georgia, a conviction for a first DUI offense can result in a driver being held in jail for 24 hours or more if his or her blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was .08 or higher. Those with BACs of less than .08 may still face DUI charges if they had apparent impairment.

A first-time DUI can also result in a driver losing his or her driver's license for a full year. They may also have to complete 40 hours or more of community service, and face additional penalties. All of these consequences, to themselves and to others, should be impressed upon underage drivers by parents and teachers before those underage drivers first operate a motor vehicle by themselves. Teaching them the perils of underage drinking and how to resist peer pressure will also help.

If an underage driver does face a DUI, he or she will need to get capable legal representation. In doing so, they and their parents will want to get an attorney who has substantial expertise and experience in the field, so they can prepare their case fully.