ATHENS, Ga- A bill that would change how underage drinking is handled in the state of Georgia is now one step closer to becoming law. Advocates of the bill believe that the current law is ruining young people’s lives. It passed unanimously through its Senate committee just yesterday. Senate Bill 160 would make it so that possession of alcohol as a minor would result in a citation instead of arrest.
Madeline Lefferts, a student at UGA, believes a citation is a better alternative. She sees first hand how an arrest for drinking underage is affecting her friend.
“You’re not put in that position that you have an arrest on your record. You’re not put through the scary situation of being arrested in general for underage drinking,” she says.
Recent revisions to the bill make it so that police officers can arrest minors for possession of alcohol if they are being harmful themselves or someone else. Bill sponsor Senator Michael Williams thinks that these recent changes to the bill are helping to gain more support from legislators.
Senate Bill 160 is sponsored by Republican senators. It is now passed the Senate Public Health committee, and will move on to the Senate floor.