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Georgia governor signs in new law

Written by Jyrell Wynn, Correspondent

Michael’s Law passed in Georgia

It’s Friday night and time to party with friends, but don’t forget to bring your parents.

This will be the reality for many underage college students as Georgia passed Michael’s Law in July. Michael’s Law is also referred to as House Bill 152.

This new law will require minors to be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian when attending a bar. It will also require bartenders and bouncers to be 21 or older to work in the bar.

Michael’s law came from the death of Georgia Southern University freshman, Michael Gatto, who was killed by a bar bouncer in a bar altercation. Gatto died from the assault at Rude Rudy’s. Rude Rudy’s was closed in September of 2014 after Gatto’s death in August.

This new law brings big changes for collegiate bar goers under the age of 21. With the law coming to Valdosta, many Valdosta State students have weighed in on the law and what that means for the bar scene here, particularly in Remerton.

Simeon Palmer, a 21-year-old junior geosciences major, said that when it comes to bar safety, he believes they are pretty safe.

“The only time when stuff happens is when you leave the bar,” Palmer said.

“At 18, you shouldn’t need a parent to do anything because you are an adult under the law,” said Wesley Cook, junior computer science major.

According to Michael’s Law, a bar is any retailer where alcohol sales derive 75 percent of total annual gross revenue.

Disciplinary action from violating the law includes a fine up to $750 for each violation and revoking the bar’s license to serve alcohol.

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