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.
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:
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
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:
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
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:
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.