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Underage DUI charges are a serious matter in Athens, Georgia

Students at the University of Georgia need to be aware that underage drinking can be problematic if they elect to get behind the wheel of a car and are arrested for DUI, espcially given Georgia's zero-tolerance law.
 
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    November 01, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Underage DUI charges are a serious matter in Athens, Georgia

Article provided by Thomas A. Camp, P.C
Visit us at http://www.tomcamp.com

Given the large number of undergraduate students from the University of Georgia that populate the Athens-Clarke County area, it likely comes as little surprise that law enforcement officers in this part of the state take underage drinking very seriously. In fact, according to a report from WSB-TV News, Clarke County officers arrested and jailed nearly 3,000 underage drinkers during a three-year period from 2009 through 2011.

However, underage students at the University of Georgia also need to be aware that underage drinking can be especially problematic if they elect to get behind the wheel of a car and are arrested for driving under the influence (DUI). For instance, underage DUI laws in Georgia are typically much more severe than the laws that govern those over the age of 21.
Georgia underage DUI laws

Essentially, Georgia has a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to underage drinking and driving. The relevant statute specifically states that it is illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to "drive [...] any moving vehicle while the person's alcohol concentration is 0.02 grams or more" - an amount significantly lower than the 0.08 grams threshold for drivers over the age of 21.

Consequently, if an underage motorist is arrested in Georgia and testing reveals his or her alcohol concentration is 0.02 grams or more, the motorist can face several penalties if ultimately convicted, including:
-License suspension for six months, which increases to 12 months if alcohol concentration is 0.08 grams or higher.
-A fine ranging from $300 to $1000.
-Community service of 20 hours, which increases to 40 hours if alcohol concentration is 0.08 grams or higher.

Furthermore, a second underage DUI conviction within five years carries even more severe penalties, including a license suspension ranging from 18 months to three years. A second underage DUI conviction within 10 years also carries penalties of 72 hours in jail, 30 days of community service and a minimum fine of $600.
Charges related to underage DUIs in Georgia

It is worth noting, however, that there are many other criminal charges that typically go hand-in-hand with underage DUIs in Georgia. For example, a motorist under the age of 21 arrested for drunk driving may also face the following charges:
-Underage possession of alcohol while operating a motor vehicle.
-Minor in Possession of alcohol.
-Using false identification to purchase or otherwise obtain alcohol.

Ultimately, the laws in Georgia regarding underage DUIs can be quite difficult to navigate given the various criminal and administrative penalties. Accordingly, if you are currently facing underage DUI charges, it is often best to seek the counsel of a skilled DUI defense attorney. An experienced attorney can review the circumstances of your arrest and help ensure your rights are respected.



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