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What happens if you’re caught underage drinking in Athens, GA?

On Behalf of | Jun 27, 2024 | Drunk Driving

Underage drinking is a serious offense in Athens, Georgia, with strict laws and penalties in place to deter minors from consuming alcohol. Understanding the consequences of being caught underage drinking can help you navigate the legal system and avoid further complications.

Immediate legal consequences

Anyone caught underage drinking will likely face immediate criminal charges. Depending on the severity of the offense and your behavior at the time, the police may issue a citation or arrest you. This can result in a mandatory court appearance, during which you will need to address the charges.

Penalties for underage drinking

The penalties for underage drinking can be severe. For a first offense, you may face fines up to $300, community service, and mandatory attendance in an alcohol education program. The court may also suspend your driver’s license for up to six months.

Repeat offenses

If the police catch you participating in underage drinking more than once, the penalties become increasingly severe. For a second offense, you may face fines up to $1,000, a minimum of 40 hours of community service, and a one-year driver’s license suspension. 

Additional offenses can lead to even higher fines, longer community service requirements, extended license suspensions, and possible jail time.

Impact on your record

An underage drinking conviction can have long-lasting effects. Having criminal charges on your record can impact college admissions, job opportunities, and scholarship eligibility. It’s important to understand that these consequences extend beyond the immediate legal penalties.

To avoid the consequences of underage drinking, adhere to the legal drinking age and make responsible choices. Understanding the risks and penalties can help you make informed decisions and avoid legal trouble.