Georgia Minor in Possession of Alcohol Charges and Penalties
The State of Georgia has minor in possession (MIP) laws to prevent anyone under the age of 21 to consume or possess alcoholic beverages. These laws seek to discourage minors from drinking and committing other serious crimes. Minors under 21 are allowed to serve alcohol in a licensed establishment as part of their job.
Drinking and Possessing Alcohol & Using Fake ID to Obtain Alcohol
The law prohibits minors from purchasing, attempting to purchase, or knowingly possessing alcoholic beverages. It is also unlawful for minors to use a fake id for the purpose of obtaining alcohol illegally. Violating this law will result in the following penalties:
- A fine of up to $300
- Sentenced up to six months in jail
- Driver’s license suspension for six months
Second or Subsequent Offense
- A fine of up to $1,000
- Sentenced up to one year in jail
- Driver’s license suspension for one year
In addition to the above penalties, the offender may be required to complete a drug or alcohol educational program within 120 days of their conviction. If you fail to complete the program, the judge may order you to pay a fine of up to $300 and/or spend 20 days in jail. First-time offenders may be placed on probation, enter a diversion program, or enroll in a comprehensive rehabilitation program.
This law does not apply to minors possessing alcohol for medicinal purposes, religious ceremonies, or when the parent or guardian allows the underage person to consume alcohol in the home.
Official Code of Georgia Annotated § 3-3-23
Zero Tolerance For Minors
Any person under the age of 21 will be charged with driving under the influence (DUI) if their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is .02% or higher. The penalties include:
- Jail term of 10 days to 1 year
- Fine ranging from $300 to $1,000
- Driver’s license suspended for 6 months
- 20 hours of community service for minors under 21
- License reinstatement fee of $210
- Jail term of 90 days to 1 year
- Fine ranging from $600 to $1,000
- Driver’s license suspended for 12 months
- 30 days of community service
- License reinstatement fee of $201
- Completion of an alcohol treatment program
- Installation of an ignition interlock device in vehicle
In addition, anyone under the age of 21 who is convicted of a DUI offense will not be eligible for a limited driving permit. Limited driving permits allow offenders to drive to and from work, school, the pharmacy, or DUI educational programs. You will have to wait until the suspension period is up before applying for a license reinstatement.
Official Code of Georgia Annotated § 40-6-391
Selling Alcohol to Minors or Purchasing Alcohol For Minors
It is against the law for anyone to purchase alcohol for minors under the age of 21. It is illegal for anyone to knowingly furnish alcohol or permit a person under 21 to consume an alcoholic beverage. The penalties include the following:
- You will be ordered to pay of fine of not less than $750 and not more than $1,000
- You may be sentenced up to 12 months in jail
In addition to the above, a licensed establishment may have their license revoked upon a second conviction.
Official Code of Georgia Annotated § 3-3-23.1
To learn more about Georgia's MIP laws, read Title 3 (Alcoholic Beverages) of the Official Code of Georgia laws. If you are facing MIP charges in Georgia, contact a criminal defense lawyer for legal assistance.