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State Profiles of Underage Drinking Laws

- Georgia -

Underage Drinking: Underage Possession of Alcohol

Possession is prohibited WITH THE FOLLOWING EXCEPTION(S):

  • parent/guardian's home
  • AND parent/guardian

Underage Drinking: Underage Purchase of Alcohol

Purchase is prohibited and there is NO ALLOWANCE for youth purchase for law enforcement purposes.

Underage Drinking: Furnishing Alcohol to Minors

Furnishing is prohibited WITH THE FOLLOWING EXCEPTION(S):

  • parent/guardian's home
  • AND parent/guardian

Underage Drinking: Minimum Ages for On-Premises Servers and Bartenders

Beer: 18 for both servers and bartenders
Wine: 18 for both servers and bartenders
Spirits: 18 for both servers and bartenders

Underage Drinking: False Identification for Obtaining Alcohol

Provision(s) targeting minors:

  • Use of a false ID to obtain alcohol is a criminal offense
  • Penalty may include driver's license suspension through a judicial procedure

Provision(s) targeting retailers:

  • Licenses for drivers under age 21 are easily distinguishable from those for drivers age 21 and older
  • Retailers are permitted to seize apparently false IDs
  • Specific affirmative defense - the retailer inspected the false ID and came to a reasonable conclusion based on its appearance that it was valid

Notes:
In Georgia, the prohibition against furnishing to a minor does not apply when a retailer has been provided with “proper identification,” defined as “any document issued by a governmental agency containing a description of the person, such person's photograph, or both, and giving such person's date of birth.” When a reasonable or prudent person could reasonably be in doubt as to whether a customer is of legal drinking age, the retailer has a duty to request to see and to be furnished with proper identification in order to verify the customer’s age, and the failure to make such request and verification in the case of an underage person may be considered by the trier of fact in determining whether the retailer furnishing the alcoholic beverage did so knowingly. See Ga. Code Ann. § 3-3-23(d), (h). APIS has interpreted the “reasonable or prudent person” requirement as providing the retailer a defense for reasonable reliance on an apparently valid ID.

Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) Limits: Youth (Underage Operators of Noncommercial Motor Vehicles)
BAC limit: 0.02 - a BAC level above the limit is per se (conclusive) evidence of a violation.

Applies to drivers under age 21.

Retail Sales: Keg Registration

Keg definition: more than two gallons

Prohibited:

  • possessing an unregistered, unlabeled keg - max. fine/jail: $1000 / 12 months
  • destroying the label on a keg - max. fine/jail: $1000 / 12 months

Purchaser information collected:

  • purchaser's name and address
  • verified by a government-issued ID
  • address where keg will be consumed
  • Warning information to purchaser: active – purchaser action required (e.g., signature)

    Deposit: not required

    Provisions do not specifically address disposable kegs

    Notes:
    Although Georgia does not require a retailer to record the number of a keg purchaser's ID, it does require the retailer to record the form of identification presented by the purchaser, as well as the purchaser's name, address, and date of birth.

    Underage Drinking: Use/Lose: Driving Privileges

    Type(s) of violation leading to driver's license suspension, revocation, or denial:

    • Underage purchase

    Use/lose penalties apply to minors under age 21

    Authority to impose driver's license sanction

    • mandatory

    Length of suspension/revocation: 180 days

    Notes:
    With respect to underage possession, Georgia imposes a license sanction only if the possession occurs while operating a motor vehicle. See Ga. Code Ann. § 40-5-63(e). APIS does not address provisions that apply only when the minor is the operator or passenger of a motor vehicle.

    National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism National Institutes of Health Department of Health and Human Services USA.gov - Government Made Easy