If you enjoy having a drink with dinner or grabbing a beer when you’re socializing, you’re going to want to be proactive if you need to transport any minors after you’ve indulged in even a single drink. “But I can drive if I’ve had a drink, as long as my blood alcohol concentration (BAC) isn’t over the legal limit!” you may be thinking. This is true but the risk that your BAC could be over the legal limit – even slightly – isn’t a risk worth taking.
In Georgia, if you are charged with impaired driving and you either plead guilty or are found guilty, the penalties you’ll face are significantly greater if you are transporting a minor in your vehicle at the time that you were driving while impaired. In fact, you won’t just face drunk driving charges if your passenger is under the age of 14. You’ll also likely be charged with child endangerment.
Aggravated charges may apply
Not all driving under the influence (DUI) charges are created equal. Certainly, all DUI charges should be approached as serious matters of concern, as they can result in the creation of a criminal record for a first-time offender. It cannot be emphasized enough that avoiding a criminal record is of vital importance to an individual’s ability to take advantage of future opportunities.
With that said, some DUI infractions are charged with greater severity than others. Having a minor passenger in the car with you at the time of an impaired driving offense acts as an aggravating factor that could subject you to more significant criminal penalties. In addition, if the child is your own, the fact that you subjected them to endangerment could complicate your custody rights. If you work with kids, being convicted could cost you your job.
Again, even if you have had a single drink, you don’t want to risk transporting minors in your car. The stakes of the situation are just too high to risk, even if it is very unlikely that your BAC is over the legal limit.