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Georgia sheriff's deputy may have enabled underage drinking

When it comes to underage drinking in Georgia, there are hard lines around who can drink, and there are few exceptions to those rules. Children may be allowed to drink small amounts of alcohol in their own homes under parental supervision, but even this case is very rare and tightly regulated.

Punishments for underage possession and consumption of alcohol can be severe. Fines, community service or probation are possible parts of a sentence, but even a first violation in Georgia can result in up to a year in jail.

Children who are caught with beer, wine or liquor or minors who are intoxicated are not the only ones who can face judgment in these cases. Adults who furnish alcohol to minors, such as bartenders and liquor store owners, may face heavy fines or other punishments.

A former sheriff's deputy in Douglas County lost his job and may lose his freedom after he was implicated in an incident involving underage drinking. Other deputies were called to a house after an assault was reported and learned that one of their comrades had given alcohol to several people below the age of 21.

The 23-year-old man was arrested on four counts of furnishing alcohol to minors and additional charges resulting from the accident. He was fired from his job after the arrest.

People facing charges related to underage drinking always have the right to defend themselves in court. An attorney can help prepare a defense or work with prosecutors to lessen the effect of these charges. No one should have to deal with the criminal justice system on their own.

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