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You made a mistake. At a high school party, you chose to drink. You only lived a few minutes away and wanted to avoid upsetting your parents, so you got behind the wheel. After committing a traffic violation, an officer pulled you over.

In the state of Georgia, significant penalties arise when charged with an underage DUI. For many experienced attorneys, fighting the charge or reducing punishments proves to be a goal. If a court charges you with an underage DUI, you must understand the laws and consequences behind your charge.

Georgia’s zero tolerance

For young drivers, the act of operating a vehicle while intoxicated proves extremely dangerous. If an officer breathalyzes you, even if you show a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of .01%, you still may be charged with a DUI.

The zero-tolerance policy enforces both the act of illegally operating a vehicle while drunk. Yet it also punishes those that consume alcohol younger than the legal age of 21. Committing this double offense gives penalties to young people that scare and enforce both criminal charges.

Juvenile offenses for a DUI

Assuming you have not driven under the influence of alcohol before, Georgia’s state penalties for an underage DUI still show strict punishments.

If you are under the age of 15 years:

  • Your license will be suspended until you are 17
  • You will be given a fee of $210
  • You must attend and pay for an alcohol consumption course

If you are from the ages of 16 to 20:

  • Your license will be suspended for 6 months if you blow lower than .08% BAC
  • Your license will be suspended for 12 months if you blow higher than .08% BAC
  • You will be given a fee of $210
  • You must attend and pay for an alcohol consumption course

Hiring an attorney may give you the opportunity to lessen your charges or be provided sound legal advice during your DUI charge proceedings. Analyzing your unique situation, attorneys may help you in obtaining limited driving permits or an expungement of your crime.

Significant penalties only increase with age. Know that if you commit another DUI offense over the age of 21, you may suffer a penalty of a longer license suspension period, jail time and thousands in fines. It proves essential to never drink and drive, as well as refrain from drinking altogether while under the age of 21.