What started as a family outing to a Zac Brown Band concert ended with a father arrested after letting his 15-year-old daughter drive home because he was too drunk, according to north Fulton police.
After the Saturday show at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Alpharetta, Jason Phipps allegedly let his daughter drive, police said. The teenager has a learner’s permit.
But before the family could get out of the parking lot, witnesses watched as the teen hit a parked Jeep and continued driving.
“We only hit a pothole,” Phipps said he told his daughter, according to police.
Witnesses provided police with the tag number to the Phipps’ silver GMC Yukon, and investigators tracked the SUV to a home in Milton. Police from that agency were waiting near the home when the Phipps family arrived, the report states.
At this point, Phipps was driving the SUV, and he told officers his daughter drove a friend home and then he drove the rest of the way, a Milton police report states. Officers could smell alcohol on Phipps, who said he knew his daughter had actually struck another vehicle. Phipps’s wife and another child were also in the SUV, police said.
“Jason stated that he knew they hit a vehicle but he thought it was a friend’s car,” the report states.
Phipps agreed to field sobriety testing, and officers reported he had glassy eyes, slurred speech, was unable to keep his balance and needed instructions repeated. Phipps declined a breath test and said he had not been driving, according to police. The teenager confirmed her father had driven the second part of the trip home.
Phipps, 43, was arrested and charged with DUI-less safe and DUI-child endangerment and booked into the Alpharetta jail.
According to police, the 15-year-old had a learner’s permit, but because both of the adults in the car were allegedly under the influence of alcohol, she was not allowed to be driving because they were not “fit” to exercise control over the SUV. The teen was also cited.
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