Everyone, especially minors, knows that the legal age for consuming alcohol is 21 years in the United States. However, most people have at least tried alcohol before they reach that age. In Georgia and 44 other states, there are some legal options for minors to have alcohol.
- What does Georgia law say about underage drinking?
An older law harkens back to a time when doctors would prescribe alcohol for children as an antiseptic. As such, children may have alcohol, including the contents of cold and allergy medication, with a prescription from a doctor.
- Are there other exceptions to the underage drinking law?
A more common reason for children to have some wine is a religious functions, such as communion or a Passover seder. Parents may also give permission for their own children to consume alcohol if it is otherwise permitted for adults. However, that exception does not extend to any other minors, so a parent cannot allow a child's friends to drink.
- What are the reasons to specifically prevent children from drinking?
Teenagers and young adults are still undergoing biochemical changes as their brains and bodies mature. As a result, alcohol may have a more powerful and unexpected effect on children's physical and mental health. Parents are the front line against underage drinking, and their disapproval of drinking can carry a lot of weight.
- Are these a defense against an underage drinking charge?
These are very specific exceptions, legally viable only under certain circumstances. A lawyer should be consulted if a child is facing alcohol-related charges to help build a defense.