Questions to Consider When You’re the Designated Driver
Many people would agree that drinking and driving is dangerous and illegal. You and your friends are going out for a night on the town and you want to make sure everyone gets home safely. You raise your hand and volunteer to be the designated driver. Not so fast. There are some things to consider before you decide to be the hero. You may have good intentions, but there are a few things that could still get you in hot water with the law.
I’m Underage. Can I Drive Them Home if They’re Drunk and I’m Sober?
You may be wondering if you can have a group of intoxicated passengers in your car if you aren’t legally able to drink. In most cases, this is perfectly fine. Where you might run into trouble is if the intoxicated passengers in your car are also underage. If you have a valid license and haven’t been drinking, feel free to be the designated driver. If the people you will be drinking aren’t of legal age, do yourself a favor and stay away from the situation.
What if I’m Only 16?
In many areas, there are different classes of driver’s licenses for young or new drivers. Check the local laws if you are only 16 or have a Class D license. You may have to have a responsible adult in the car if you are driving. A drunk adult will not be considered responsible if you are pulled over. You may be able to have only a certain number of passengers. In other areas, you may have a curfew as far as driving goes. Before you decide to be the designated driver, make sure you are legally able to drive under the unique set of circumstances.
Can My Passengers Drink While I Drive?
There is no good that can come from this scenario. In almost every jurisdiction, laws are on the books about having open containers in vehicles, even if you don’t have one yourself. You can be cited if you are pulled over and the officer sees open containers of alcohol in the vehicle. If your passengers start popping tabs in the back seat, pull over and have them throw them away. If your passengers refuse to leave the drinks behind, find them another ride. Being cited for open container when you are trying to do a good thing isn’t something you should have to deal with.
Drinking and driving is serious offense that most people would prefer to avoid. Acting as a designated driver is a great way to make sure your friends get home safely and without facing charges. At the same time, you don’t want to end up facing charges yourself. If you are going to act as a designated driver, make sure you are legally able to do so and that your friends respect you enough to behave appropriately.
If you are arrested for driving under the influence in Atlanta, reach out to Hawkins Spizman Fortas for assistance. We will review the details of your charges and arrest at no cost to you and advise you of your legal options. Call today for help.