Parents Can Make a Difference
Teens face difficult challenges when resisting the use of alcohol and other drugs. Together, parents and communities can prevent drug use among youth.
The following are some steps parents can do to help keep teens safe and drug free:
- Make sure your home is drug free.
- Actively chaperone all underage parties in your home.
- Do not serve or allow alcoholic beverages to be served (or even be on the premises) at underage parties or activities in or at your home.
- Take reasonable non-physical steps to prevent any teenager in your presence who appears to be intoxicated to drive; alert his/her parents of his/her condition.
- Call parents. Know your teen’s friends’ parents and encourage them to call you. Network with them.
- Know where your teen is going.
- Know whom your teen is with.
- Know what your teen is doing.
- Know when he/she will be home; be awake when he/she arrives.
- Know what the consequences are if the rules are broken. Make lists or a contract with expectations spelled out. Put them in a prominent place, like the refrigerator. Make rules before problems start and be sure your teen is involved in the process.
When can a teenager be criminally charged as an adult?
Will a minor convicted of dealing drugs get a lighter punishment because he/she is not an adult?
Is it possible for a person under 18 to be charged and go to prison for injuring someone else while driving under the influence of alcohol?
Is drinking alcohol by someone under 21 in a public place, regardless of who purchased it, against the law?
Is it legal for a minor to buy alcohol if he/she has his/her parent’s permission??
What is the penalty for possessing marijuana?
Is it legal to purchase drug paraphernalia (drug related objects)?
If I am stopped for a traffic violation, can the car and its occupants be searched? Will I be responsible if someone in my car has marijuana in his possession?
If there were traces of marijuana found in my possession, could I be convicted of possession of a controlled substance?
If a teen injures someone while driving under the influence of alcohol, can the parents be held liable?
Questions Asked By Parents & Teens
To the left are a number of questions asked by parents and teenagers about local alcohol and drug laws.
Jurisdiction of the CourtsFor criminal liability, any person 17 years of age or older is considered an adult in the State of Georgia. Any person under 17 years of age is considered a juvenile by the law in the State of Georgia. There are certain serious, violent crimes which would cause a juvenile 13-16 to be charged as, and prosecuted as an adult.
Type of Offenses
Misdemeanors are offenses punishable with confinement of up to one (1) year and a fine of up to $1000 ($5000 in some circumstances). These are some misdemeanors:
- Possession or consumption of alcohol under 21
- Driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs
- Possession of marijuana weighing less than one (1) ounce
- Possession of drug related objects
- Providing alcohol to a minor (except your own child)
- Possession of dangerous drugs (including certain prescribed medications without the appropriate prescription in the name of the possessor)
- Possession of an open container in a vehicle and that container has any amount of alcohol
- Possession of prescription drugs not in original containers
Felonies are offenses punishable with confinement of more than one (1) year in the State Prison. These are some felonies:
- Possession of more than one (1) ounce of marijuana
- Possession of any amount of any controlled substance (excluding marijuana – less than an ounce) including, but not limited to the following:
- Cocaine – powder form (purity varies);
- “Crack” – rock form of cocaine (usually 100% pure);
- “Crank” – methamphetamine (meth) powder or solid (ice);
- Hallucinogenics (mescaline, LSD, PCP, “Angel Dust”, ecstasy);
- Amphetamines, depressants and many prescription drugs (Lortab, Xanax, Soma, Oxycontin) if no legal prescription
- Serious injury by vehicle (when someone deprives another of a part of his body as a result of DUI)
- 1st degree vehicular homicide (when someone causes the death of another as a result of DUI or reckless driving)
- If convicted of a felony, consequences may include:
- Inability to hold public office
- Inability to vote, unless you have completed your sentence and probation/parole
- Inability to get into professional schools such as medical, law, or dental
- Inability to secure a surety bond (bond that protects one against losses resulting from another’s failure to meet an obligation)
- Inability to take the Civil Service examinations
- Exclusion from military service and military academies
- Passport ineligibility
- Denial of a license by the state for certain professions which require state licensure
- Inability to possess a firearm
- Exclusion from employment opportunities
- Inability to get into certain colleges or universities