I got a call today from a parent whose child was charged with minor in possession of alcohol in the City of Atlanta Municipal Court. He was driving his parents car. There was a passenger, also under 21, in the car and they were pulled over by the police. The passenger admitted drinking one beer and there was one empty beer can on the floor. He was arrested. The driver said he did not drink anything, took field sobriety tests and took a breath test and tested 0.00. He was still arrested and charged with minor in possession of alcohol because he admitted drinking 1 beer earlier in the evening. Had he invoked his right to remain silent, he would not have been charged with a crime.
In the state of Georgia this is a very common situation. If you are under the age of 21, it’s illegal to possess alcohol. There are however several exceptions to the law such as if you’re at home, your parents provide the alcohol and they supervise you. There is also an exception for religious services.
A minor in possession charge can result in a license suspension in certain factual scenarios. There are also Georgia statutes which can be used to get your case dismissed. The majority of clients that I represent who are charged with minor in possession that have not been in trouble before end up with their charges being dismissed and their arrest being expunged/restricted.