Georgia, like other US states, has a legal drinking age of 21 years. It is illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to consume alcoholic beverages. That means if you're underage and only had one drink, you can still be charged with a crime according to Georgia law.
Moreover, if you're under the age of 21 and are found in possession of alcoholic beverages, then you can be charged for minor in possession, or MIP. These charges can come with serious penalties and shouldn't be taken lightly. If you've been charged, you'll want an experienced and aggressive legal defense for your MIP charge.
The penalties and punishments for underage alcohol crimes increase with each conviction. The penalties for the first offense can be up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $300. Additional convictions can result in fines of up to $1,000 and up to one year in jail. Individuals convicted of underage drinking crimes can also be ordered to attend treatment and evaluation programs. Moreover, you'll have to pay for these programs out of your own pocket. The court can also order community service and drug and alcohol testing.
In addition to being a crime for minors to possess or consume alcohol, it is also illegal to provide alcohol to minors. Individuals who buy alcohol for minors can receive a fine of up to $5,000, and as much as a year in jail.
Don't Settle for a Weak Defense.
If you've been charged with underage drinking or MIP in Athens, Athens-Clarke County, The University of Georgia, Watkinsville, Madison, Winder, Oconee County, Oglethorpe County, or anywhere else in the area around Athens, you'll want to get an aggressive and experienced attorney.