The Legal Risks of Underage Drinking

Underage Drinking Laws Target People of All Ages

Georgia’s underage drinking laws are intended to prevent those younger than 21 from consuming or possessing alcohol. While the laws focus on young teens, people of all ages could face legal penalties for playing a part in providing a minor with alcohol.

Penalties for Drinking and Possessing Alcohol as a Minor

It is illegal for someone under 21 to consume or possess alcohol. The crime is punished the same whether the offender used a fake ID to purchase the alcohol for themselves or had someone of-age purchase the drink for them. If convicted, the underage drinker will face:

  • Up to $300 in fines, or up to $1,000 for a subsequent offense
  • Up to six months in jail, or up to one year for a subsequent offense
  • Driver’s license suspension for six months, or one year for a subsequent offense

Depending on the case, the individual may also be required to complete an alcohol education program. Failure to complete the program, if required by the court, could result in an additional $300 fine and 20 days in jail.

Exceptions to Underage Drinking Laws

Georgia’s laws outline a few exceptions for underage individuals. Those under 21 are allowed to possess or consume alcohol:

  • For medicinal reasons
  • For religious rituals
  • With the parent or guardian’s permission and in their home

Punishments for Selling Alcohol to or Purchasing Alcohol for Minors

Underage drinking laws can affect people of all ages. If someone knowingly provides alcohol to someone who is under 21, either by purchasing it for them or selling it to them, they will face legal penalties. Offenders could face:

  • A fine of $750 to $1,000
  • Up to 12 months in jail

If the offender is an establishment, rather than an individual, they could lose their liquor license upon a second conviction.

Underage drinking charges are serious offenses that require knowledgeable legal defense. Contact Daniels & Taylor, P.C. to discuss your case today.

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