A report released by the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility suggests that nearly nine million individuals between the ages of 12 and 20 drink alcohol in the United States. One report presented in front of Congress suggests that at least 23.6 percent of Georgians in that same age bracket admit to consuming alcohol within any one month.
Although its illegal for anyone to operate a vehicle under the influence of alcohol in Georgia, if an individual younger than 21 does it, they risk much stricter penalties than similarly situated adults.
Georgia is one of many states in which the blood alcohol content threshold is lower for those who have not yet reached legal drinking age versus those that have. For example, the legal limit for adults is 0.08% blood alcohol content, whereas for underage motorists, it’s 0.02%. Stricter penalties come with this limit being exceeded.
According to some legal experts, underage motorists may even be more susceptible to being arrested if there’s just a hint present that an individual has been drinking, such as the smell of alcohol on their breath. An underage motorist who doesn’t submit to a breathalyzer test risks being automatically hauled off to jail on suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI).
Police officers take underage drinking so seriously because studies have shown that if an intoxicated minor gets behind the wheel of a car, they’re apt to crash, injuring either themselves or someone else in the process.
Even barring an individual getting behind the wheel, an underage drinker may be charged with public intoxication or some other alcohol-related charge. If you’ve been charged with having driven drunk, and you’re under the age of 21, then an Athens, Georgia DUI attorney can advise you of your legal rights in your case.
Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution, “Georgia law says teens can have alcohol (sometimes),” Camie Young, accessed Sep. 29, 2017