In Georgia, the laws against driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs are rigorous. But what about the passengers in the car? Are they held to the same rules as drivers? Even though passengers usually can’t get a DUI like a driver can, they need to know about certain laws when they’re in a car with an impaired driver.
Passengers and DUI
Passengers typically aren’t subject to DUI charges in traffic stops. However, that does not mean passengers can freely drink or use drugs in the car. Some other laws and penalties apply to passengers who consume alcohol or drugs in a vehicle, such as the open container law. This law prohibits anyone from having an open alcoholic beverage in the passenger area of a car on or on the shoulder of a public highway. This law applies to both drivers and passengers. If you violate this law, you could be looking at a fine of as much as $200.
Facing risks a passenger
Riding with an impaired driver might put you in a risky situation. So, it could be beneficial to think twice before getting into a car with someone who has been drinking or using drugs. Safer options, like taxis or ridesharing services, must be considered. If you’re already with an intoxicated driver, it might be best to safely exit the vehicle when possible. Your safety and the safety of others should ideally be a top concern.
Being a passenger does not exempt you from the consequences of being involved in a DUI situation. You may not get a DUI charge as a passenger, but you may still face fines, injuries or even life-threatening consequences. Thus, it is essential to be responsible and avoid getting into a car with an impaired driver to avoid that risk altogether.