Georgia Child Car Seat Laws

Posted by Richard Lawson | May 07, 2019 | 0 Comments

As a Georgia DUI Lawyer, I handle cases involving children frequently. A charge that I regularly see accompany DUI in Georgia is Child Endangerment.

In today's post, I will also focus on the law that governs child passenger safety in the state of Georgia. This is another violation that I see frequently with DUI and DUI Child Endangerment in Georgia.

Child Restraint Systems in Georgia

Child restraint systems are outlined in O.C.G.A. §40-8-76 as:

Children under eight years of age must ride in an approved child restraint system and the driver shall provide proper restraint of a child in a child passenger restraint system appropriate for such child's height and weight and is approved by the U.S. government. 

This is a very important law which most people regard as more of an outline.

According to the Georgia Governor's Office of Highway Safety. There are certain best practices to follow regarding child passengers. These practices include:

  1. Keep your child rear-facing as long as possible. 
  2. Select a car seat based on your child's age and size, choose a seat that fits in your vehicle, and use it every time.
  3. Always refer to your specific car seat manufacturer's instructions (check height and weight limits) and read the vehicle owner's manual on how to install the car seat using the seat belt or lower anchors and a tether, if available.
  4. To maximize safety, keep your child in the car seat for as long as possible, as long as the child fits within the manufacturer's height and weight requirements.
  5. Keep your child in the back seat at least through age 12.

This is commonly associated with Child Endangerment and DUI because when pulled over for a DUI investigation, an officer will be performing as thorough of a check as possible.

Georgia takes crimes involving very seriously. This is exemplified best by the law for Child Endangerment. To put the law simply - for any child riding in a vehicle as a passenger where a driver has been charged with DUI, the driver is facing an additional DUI charge. Even for a first time offender, a driver can face multiple DUI charges for one offense.

Let's take an example. Driver “X” is driving a minivan with three children under the age of 14 in the car. If “X” is pulled over, investigated, and arrested for DUI, then according to Georgia Law, “X” is now facing four separate DUI offenses.

A Fourth Georgia DUI will automatically elevate the case to a felony. Aside from the lifelong consequences of a felony conviction, the driver will face multiple years of driver's license suspension and potentially lengthy prison time.

Practice Note

Georgia DUI Laws are complicated and can be very overwhelming  DUI Child Endangerment charges are different from any other DUI-related offense. The possibility of multiple charges coming out of one offense is what sets this offense apart.

Regardless of the charges, if you or a loved one has been arrested for DUI, contact our offices today. A Georgia DUI Attorney can help you with your case now.

About the Author

Richard Lawson

Managing Partner at Lawson & Berry:


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