Would you let your friend drive home if you knew they’d probably had too much to drink? It can take courage to stand up to someone in this situation. Someone who has had too much to drink can be persistent or belligerent. This makes it difficult to convince someone to let you call them a ride or take their keys away.

Before you think that you’ll ride with them, you should know that you can face penalties for riding with a drunk driver. After all, the safety of you and your friend and the people around them are at stake when you allow a drunk driver to drive.

A less-drunk driver is still a drunk driver

New Jersey law says that someone with a blood alcohol content over .08 but less than .10 who allows someone with a similar intoxication level can face the same penalties as if they were driving. These penalties include up to a $400 fine and 30 days in jail, a 90-day license suspension, and enrollment in an intoxicated driver’s course.

If you and your friend have a BAC over .10 percent, a court can fine you up to $500, 30 days in prison, and a license suspension up to one year. You could also have to enroll in the same intoxicated driver’s course.

If you think that your punishment stops there, you will face an insurance surcharge of $1,000 each year for three years. I’m sure you can think of better things to do with $3,000.

Play it safe

There’s no such thing as a drunk driver and a slightly-less drunk driver is still a drunk driver. Don’t take chances with your life or your friends’ lives and ensure that each of you have a safe ride home. If not, you and your friend could face serious criminal charges.