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Part of growing up involves getting into some trouble, especially for teens. However, when teens get in trouble for experimenting with alcohol and driving, the potential repercussions of their actions may be significant and lasting. 

In order to help protect your teen and his or her future, it may help you to understand the consequences of underage drinking and driving in the state. 

A lower legal limit 

According to the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety in Georgia, the law sets the legal blood alcohol limit for of-age drivers in the state at 0.08%. Underage drivers, or those under the age of 21-years-old, have a legal limit of 0.02%, however. Consequently, your teen may face criminal charges if found operating a motor vehicle with even small amounts of alcohol in his or her system. 

Court-ordered penalties 

Even for a first-time offense, your teen may face serious penalties if convicted of driving under the influence. The possible consequences he or she may face include a fine of between $300 and $1,000, as well as a mandatory minimum of 40 hours of community service. The court may also sentence your teen to a maximum of one year in jail and order the suspension of his or her driver’s license for up to one year. If your child has prior convictions for drinking and driving, he or she may face enhanced penalties. 

Additional consequences 

If convicted of DUI, your teen may face consequences beyond the possible court-ordered penalties. Those between the ages of 15- and 21-years-old must wait for 12 months after a DUI conviction in order to obtain their graduated licenses.