Prom season is in full swing and summer is just around the corner, which means that alcohol use among teens will be on the rise. Teens are less capable than adults of managing the effects alcohol has on the body, making it incredibly dangerous for them to get behind the wheel. Unfortunately, some teens will make the decision to drive while under the influence of alcohol. If they are stopped by police, the consequences of their actions can be particularly harsh.
DUI Under 21
Georgia DUI law explains that it is a crime to get behind the wheel of a car while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. For adults, “under the influence” can mean either:
- Having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) exceeding the legal limit of .08, or
- Demonstrating that alcohol consumption has made it “less safe” for them to drive.
What happens when the person consuming alcohol has not yet reached the legal drinking age? Under Georgia law, a person under the age of 21 will be considered “under the influence” if their BAC exceeds .02.
How much alcohol does a teen have to consume for their BAC to exceed .02? While it will depend on the teen's precise age, weight, and gender, one drink should be enough to make it illegal for them to get behind the wheel. For example, after consuming one beer, a 17-year-old male weighing 160 pounds would likely have a BAC of .04 percent, well above the legal limit.
Penalties for DUI Under 21
Making the decision to drink and drive puts everyone, including the intoxicated driver, in harm's way. Georgia's DUI laws carry considerably harsh penalties that are intended to deter young people from engaging in this dangerous behavior.
While the specific penalties that may apply will depend on the teen's (a) blood alcohol content and (b) prior DUI convictions, consequences of DUI while under the age of 21 include:
- 6 months to 1 year in jail
- Criminal fines exceeding $1,000
- 12 months probation
- Community service
- Mandatory completion of alcohol risk reduction classes, and
- Suspended driver's license.
Defending DUI Charges in Forsyth County
Chemical testing is not perfect. In fact, chemical testing can be quite unreliable if law enforcement officers do not strictly adhere to certain standards and protocols. If you are facing criminal DUI charges in Forsyth County, it is important to speak with an attorney as soon as you can. A Georgia DUI attorney will thoroughly investigate your alleged DUI, identify weaknesses in the state's case against you, and fight to delegitimize any chemical testing evidence that may exist. Contact us at 404-816-4440 today to set up a free consultation and learn about how we can help to protect your future.