Copy-New GA laws in place for 2016

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - As we welcome the New Year, we also have to embrace new legislation signed into law by Georgia Governor Nathan Deal.

House Bill 152, also known as Michael's Law, states that you have to be 21 to enter any bar in Georgia. This will go into effect on July 1 of this year.

This law was put into place after 18-year-old Michael Gatto was assaulted and killed by an off-duty bouncer at a Statesboro bar last year. It happened just weeks after he began his freshman year.

Governor Deal signed the law to help combat underage drinking. Prior to this, many bars across the state, including those in Statesboro, would allow people 18 or over inside, but you had to be 21 to drink.

However, there are some exceptions. If you are 18 and you're with a parent or guardian, you're allowed inside, as well as if you've paid to see a concert at the bar. Also, bouncers and bartenders have to be 21-years-old.

Violations have to be reported to the Department of Revenue - who within 45 days - has the right to revoke their license.

Click here to see a full list of new legislation that is now the law.

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