In today's post, I will focus on what happens when someone is under the legal drinking age and is charged with a DUI in Georgia.
Underage DUI in Georgia
Under Georgia law, if the accused person is 16 years old or younger, then they are not considered an adult capable of committing a criminal offense. This means that the DUI will be handled in Georgia Juvenile Court. There are certain crimes that people under the age of 16 can be tried as adults for, but DUI and traffic offenses are not in that category.
Juvenile Court means that the charge will not be apart of the young person's criminal record. The offenses are not really considered crimes under Georgia law. There are certain penalties and sanctions though, so representation is still highly important.
Under Georgia law, if the accused person is 17 years old, then they will be tried as an adult. This means municipal, state or superior court instead of juvenile court. At this point, a DUI conviction will stay on their record for life.
If you are under the age of 21 in Georgia, then the legal limit for BAC is .02. This is drastically different than the legal drinking age limit of .08. The Georgia Driver’s License Suspension penalties are even more stringent for underage drivers.
The Georgia DUI Penalties are typically higher as well. There is an increase in the amount of jail time, fines, probation, community service, and rehabilitation classes.
The reality is with DUI - if you are convicted, there is no second chance. There is no such thing as a Georgia DUI Expungement, and a DUI stays on your record for the rest of your life. There is no record sealing, and the consequences from a DUI conviction follow you everywhere.