Atlanta, GA — Two bills on Governor Nathan Deal’s desk could mean lesser punishments for underage drinkers and allow 18 year olds in Georgia to purchase fireworks. The Governor’s Deputy Chief of Communications staff says the bills will be passed or vetoed based on the bill legislators willingness to compromise.
One of these bills awaiting Governor Deal’s signature is the controversial Underage Drinking bill. Minors caught in possession of alcohol would be issued a citation instead of being taken to jail if this bill becomes law. This bill was originally viewed as too broad and was revised several times. The final version of this bill now contains a clause explaining that this only applies to minors whose sole offense is underage possession of alcohol. If a minor is caught in possession of alcohol but is also violating another law then he or she will still be arrested.
Another bill awaiting Governor Deal’s signature would allow you to be able to buy your Fourth of July fireworks right here in Georgia. If passed, 18 year olds could purchase these explosives. 16 and 17 year olds would only be able to purchase fireworks if they are granted a license from the Safety Fire Commission. Opponents of the bill are worried that the sale of fireworks in Georgia will be dangerous. Supporters of the bill have cited a statistic from the American Pyrotechnic Association claiming that firework accidents have decreased by 44% because of safety education and campaigns.
If signed into law, these laws will become effective on July 1, 2015.
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