The legal age to consume alcohol in Georgia is 21. However, many folks in Athens and throughout the country understand that many teens and young adults have consumed alcohol on one or several occasions by the time they turn 21. And because parents can't always control what their teens do, many parents do try to make sure their teens understand the importance of drinking responsibly in order to avoid causing harm to themselves or others if they do partake in underage drinking.
The consequences of a drunk driving violation can extend far beyond the criminal penalties. A conviction (or even an arrest) can disrupt a person's career and significantly impact their future.
Last week, a 19-year-old University of Georgia student was involved in a motor vehicle accident after he allegedly tried to make a turn at an intersection before the light at the intersection turned red. The student struck another vehicle and police were called to investigate the car accident.
In Georgia, drivers who are 21 and older may be charged with driving under the influence of alcohol when they have a blood alcohol reading of 0.08. The legal limit is not the same for underage drivers, though, since it is illegal for folks to consume alcohol when they are younger than 21. Therefore, drivers younger than the age of 21 may be charged with underage DUI for having a blood alcohol reading of only 0.02 in Georgia.
According to reports, Athens-Clarke County Police reported that they had arrested U.S. Rep. John Barrow's son over the weekend for allegedly committing several criminal offenses.
The holidays are here, and as we mentioned earlier this month on our Athens DUI defense law blog, "Operation Zero Tolerance," is in effect in Georgia through New Year's Day. We hope that everyone traveling has a safe and happy holiday. And we also hope that those who do choose to drink will find a sober ride home.
Operating a vehicle safely on our Georgia roads takes a certain level of skill, but most importantly, drivers must always remain attentive when behind the wheel in order to avoid causing a minor or serious car crash. One mistake, like failing to notice a stop sign or forgetting to check one's blind spot, could result in an accident.
It's well known that enforcement of underage drinking in the Athens area is especially strict. As we reported in a previous post, arrests of minors for charges of alcohol consumption is higher in Clarke County than other portions of Georgia with similar size and populations. These stringent measures extend to drunk driving as well, making it exceedingly difficult for underage residents to get away with drinking and then getting behind the wheel.
The age of 21 is considered to be old enough to legally drink, but driving while under the influence of alcohol at any age is illegal and could result in serious ramifications for Athens residents. This is even truer for underage folks who are caught driving under the influence. However, a new report suggests that fewer underage drivers are choosing to make this mistake.
When Athens-Clarke County Police conduct traffic stops, they are not only informing drivers that they have violated traffic laws or that their vehicles' lights might not be working properly, officers will also be looking for and documenting any type of suspicious activity or physical signs that a driver may be impaired.