Frequently Asked Questions About Designated Drivers in New Jersey
- Dan T. Matrafajlo
- Thu Oct 2021
One of the best ways to protect yourself from the penalties of drunk driving charges when you are at a party or out on the town drinking is to make sure you have a designated driver. By planning ahead and not getting behind the wheel after drinking, you can enjoy your time out and avoid putting yourself and others at risk.
Having a designated driver when you plan on consuming alcohol is a great idea. However, you still have to make sure the designated driver is safe as well. Below are some frequently asked questions about designated drivers in New Jersey:
- Can my designated driver be under age 21?
New Jersey may not have a specific law against having a designated driver who is under the legal drinking age, but there are important reasons why you should consider selecting a designated driver who is older than 21. For instance, New Jersey law does not allow young drivers who either have a driver’s permit or a probationary license to drive between the hours of 11:01 pm and 5:00 am. These young drivers are also subject to passenger restrictions.
- If my designated driver is pulled over for a DUI/DWI, can I be charged as well?
Under New Jersey law, you can face DUI/DWI charges if you “permit another person who is under the influence of intoxicating liquor … to operate a motor vehicle owned by him or… permit another to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or more.”
- Can I be responsible if my designated driver caused an accident while driving my car?
You can potentially be held responsible if you allow an unexperienced or intoxicated driver to operate your car to take you home and he or she gets into an accident with your car. You could possibly face liability for “negligently entrusting” your car to a dangerous driver.
These are only some of the questions and possible issues that may arise with a designated driver situation. The bottom line is that, while it is best to have a designated driver if you plan on drinking, you should still be careful that your designated driver is responsible. If you do not have someone you can trust, you can call a taxi or a rideshare vehicle, such as Lyft or Uber.
Call a DWI Attorney in New Jersey
If you or someone you know has been issued a DWI citation or arrested for drunk driving in New Jersey, an experienced attorney can help. Call Beninato & Matrafajlo Attorneys at Law, LLC at 908-355-7100 to schedule a free, complimentary consultation with our legal team today.