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What to know before choosing your designated driver in Georgia

On Behalf of | Jun 20, 2019 | DUI |

One of the most often repeated tips for intoxicated party goers is to have a designated driver on hand in case they drink a little too much. You could take turns in your friend group to see who should lay off the cocktails that night or see if there are any family members or friends nearby who can give you a ride.

However, you and your friends aren’t completely safe yet. If an officer forces your group to pull over, you can still get in trouble even if your designated driver was sober. It is important for you and your friends to understand what laws you may break depending on your driver choice during your night out.

How old does the driver need to be?

If you have a younger sibling that’s willing to give you a lift from the bar, you should know about the restrictions Georgia places on teen drivers. While it is not illegal for them to transport drunk passengers, they can only have immediate family members in the car with them for the first six months after getting their Class D License.

Additionally, teen drivers between 16 and 18 in Georgia are prohibited from driving between midnight to 5 a.m. If you end up staying at the party longer than anticipated, you will need to find someone older who can take you home.

Can you bring drinks in the car?

Even though you and your friends aren’t the one behind the wheel, you should avoid drinking while your chosen driver is on the road. Georgia prohibits anyone from consuming alcohol or possessing open alcoholic beverage containers in regular passenger cars.

If the police catch you or one of your friends with an open container in the car, then only the person that was drinking will receive charges. You need to make sure that these beverages don’t remain in the driver’s car after they drop you off, because then they can receive charges even if they weren’t drinking or face potential DUI accusations.

If you want to continue drinking with an open container without getting in trouble, call a ride service or taxi cab. The law doesn’t apply if your driver is someone who transports other people for a living. However, you do have limits on what you can have open in the vehicle. For example, you cannot bring an open bottle of wine from a restaurant with you no matter who ends up being your designated driver.

Those who face charges despite following these rules should contact a DUI attorney for further legal assistance.