Beer, wine and liquor are a big part of life in Georgia, from weekend barbecues to relaxing in local bars. As in most of the country, the Peach State restricts alcohol possession to adults age 21 or older. Younger people can find themselves in legal trouble if they are discovered in possession of any alcoholic beverage.
College is the place that many people try things for the first time. Many graduates wax nostalgic about first road trips, first dates and first work successes while living or studying on campus. Although it is not part of a healthy college experience, alcohol can be part of a lot of firsts. For some students, alcohol is involved in their first experiences with the criminal justice system.
Drinking should always be moderated, which is why people under the age of 21 are not allowed to consume alcohol in the United States. There are a few exceptions in Georgia, including consumption under a parent's supervision, a rule partially designed to allow children to experience the disorientation caused by drinking in a controlled environment.
Even in the case of cough medicines, parents have to wait a while before introducing their children to alcohol. The chemical in beer, wine and liquor has an outsized effect on young people and can have negative effects on young brains well after initial consumption. But there are limits to the generally understood prohibition of drinking alcohol as a minor.
Much like other states, Georgia restricts underage drinking by setting a minimum age for the purchase or consumption of alcohol. There are very limited situations in which a person below the age of 21 may legally drink, such as under the supervision of parents or guardians, but minors are enjoined from drinking under most circumstances in Georgia.
Drinking alcohol often begins as a social activity, shared with family and friends. Many responsible parents try to introduce their children to alcohol in a safe environment so they can accustom themselves to its effects on the mind and body. This is why Georgia law allows minors to drink under their parents' supervision and in their parents' homes.
From toasts at weddings to beers at a football game, alcohol is a part of many cherished American traditions. Although some type of booze mixes with every soda pop, alcohol never mixes with driving a car, working with machinery or being below the proper age.
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.
It is illegal for teens to buy and consume alcohol, as the legal drinking age is set at 21. However, studies show that underage drinkers from 12 years old to 20 years old actually drink around 11 percent of the country's alcohol on an annual basis.
There's never a good time for a minor to get caught with alcohol. Possessing alcohol, even if the minor hasn't had any to drink, is a violation of the law. This is a particularly good time to discuss MIP, or Minor in Possession, charges.