The fraternity, Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE), at the University of North Georgia has been closed after another underage student has been taken to the hospital after allegedly consuming too much alcohol.
Underage drinking is against the University of North Georgia's code of conduct. The hospital trip instigated an investigation into the fraternity chapter by the university which led to its subsequent closure.
Minor in Possession of Alcohol in Georgia
Minor in possession of alcohol in Georgia is a criminal offense in this state. According to Georgia Law:
(1) No person knowingly, directly or through another person, shall furnish, cause to be furnished, or permit any person in such person's employ to furnish any alcoholic beverage to any person under 21 years of age;
(2) No person under 21 years of age shall purchase, attempt to purchase, or knowingly possess any alcoholic beverage;
(3) No person under 21 years of age shall misrepresent such person's age in any manner whatever for the purpose of obtaining illegally any alcoholic beverage;
(4) No person knowingly or intentionally shall act as an agent to purchase or acquire any alcoholic beverage for or on behalf of a person under 21 years of age; or
(5) No person under 21 years of age shall misrepresent his or her identity or use any false identification for the purpose of purchasing or obtaining any alcoholic beverage.
A law enforcement officer has the authority and discretion to either issue a citation or arrest you for minor in possession. If arrested, the arrest will be entered on your criminal history.
The reality is that an officer only needs to testify that the odor of alcohol was present on the accused person's breath which could be enough for a charge and conviction if the individual is under the age of 21. A MIP conviction stays on a criminal record forever. This can have ramifications on an individual's school record as well.
Moreover, a MIP conviction may lead to a driver's license suspension. This suspension can last as long as six months without any permit to drive. The maximum penalty for a minor in possession charge in Georgia is a $300 fine and six months in jail.
While a first time MIP offense is considered a misdemeanor, it should always be taken seriously. We live in a world where criminal convictions and criminal records are taken very seriously.
Georgia Courts can order a convicted individual to serve jail time, community service, pay high fines and fees, probation, alcohol evaluations and treatment programs, and other sanctions including potential driver's license suspension. Therefore, if you or a loved one has been arrested in Georgia, contact our offices today.