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Underage drunk driving is illegal under the zero tolerance law

You got behind the wheel of your car after having a few drinks since you didn't sense that you were intoxicated. When you were stopped by police at a driving under the influence (DUI) checkpoint, you were asked to submit take a portable breath test. While your results were far under the legal limit, they still indicated that you'd consumed alcohol earlier in the day.

While many may argue that no one should get behind the wheel after drinking, many adults do. Generally, as long as a person 21 or over's blood alcohol content (BAC) doesn't exceed the legal limit, then they're free to go on their way. This isn't the case though with drivers under the age of 21.

Georgia is one of many states in the country that subscribes to what's known as zero tolerance laws. They make it where any motorist younger than 21 that has a BAC as low as a .00 to .02 percent can be arrested on underage DUI charges.

Laws like this have been instituted in different states in response to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data. It shows that at least one-third of all traffic-related fatalities result in the deaths of those ages 15 through 20. At least 35 percent of those crashes are believed to be due to alcohol.

Of the first 12 states that put zero tolerance laws into effect, each of them experienced a 20 perecent decline in single-car, nighttime alcohol-related fatalities among those under the age of 21. Other states have been slow to see change.

Underage drunk driving puts you and others at significant risk for suffering injuries and death. Aside from that, it may make insurance far more costly for you than it should. It may make it difficult for you to secure gainful employment as well.

If you've been arrested and charged with a drunk driving offense, then an Athens attorney can explain the consequences of being convicted of such a crime.