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Underage drinking in Georgia: Here’s what you need to know

There are a lot of people who drink alcohol in the world, and the state of Georgia is no exception. In fact, it doesn’t seem to matter if you’re a legal adult or under the age of 18, you may find yourself drawn to possessing and drinking an alcoholic beverage — even if it means you’re breaking the law.

In Georgia, 23.6 percent of our state’s young population between the ages of 12 and 20 said that they had drunk alcohol within the last month. If you’re in this age category, or if you’re a parent with a child in this age category, it’s important that you understand Georgia law as it applies to underage drinking.

Underage drinking is not always illegal in Georgia

Although the law says you can’t drink until you’re 21 years of age, in Georgia and many other states, there are some circumstances in which a young person may imbibe alcoholic beverages. For example, children may consume alcohol for medical reasons if a doctor prescribes it. For example, many medications contain alcohol — like Nyquil — and a doctor might prescribe these medications to a young person.

Children can also drink alcohol for religious purposes — like communion at church. Parents may also give their children permission to drink. Parents, on the other hand, may not give permission to other children to drink. As such, they cannot throw a party, invite other minors and give them alcohol. This would be illegal.

Underage drinking laws are particularly strict

Adults who are 21 and up may drink and drive as long as their blood-alcohol content levels are are below 0.08 percent. However, the law says that anyone below the age of 21 is too drunk to drive if his or her blood-alcohol content is 0.02 percent or above.

Driving teenagers, therefore, need to play it safe with alcohol. They should never get behind the wheel no matter how small a sip of alcohol they’ve consumed.

Stay informed and stay out of trouble

Teens and people under the age of 21 in Georgia need to know what the law says about underage drinking and underage drinking and driving. The more informed you are, the better you’ll be at following the rules and not getting into trouble with your local police officer.