DUI Child Endangerment Laws
What Are DUI Child Endangerment Laws?
Most states today have some form of child endangerment statute. About half of the states also have DUI Child Endangerment laws to punish drunk driving DUI / DWI offenders who transport a minor at the time of the offense. These laws either enhance the existing DUI / DWI penalties or make it a separate offense to transport a minor while driving under the influence.
What Is the Penalty for Drunk Driving with a Minor as Passenger?
The penalties imposed on a DUI offender who is transporting a minor at the time of the offense varies from state to state:
- If minor passenger is under 14 years old, California enhances existing DUI penalties by 48 hours in jail for a first offense up to 90 days in jail for multiple offenses
- DUI offender with a passenger who is a minor may also be convicted of child endangerment, a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment in the county jail for up to one year, or in the state prison up to six years
- If minor passenger is under 18 years old, Florida enhances existing DUI penalties by imposing sanctions of up to $1000 and 9 months in jail for a first offense and $5000 or a year in jail for multiple offenses
- If minor passenger is under 16 years old, Illinois enhances the existing DUI penalties and imposes a mandatory jail sentence ranging from 2 days to 1 year for a first offense and 90 days to 3 years for multiple offenses
- The defendant must also perform community service
- New York
- If minor passenger is under 17 years old, the DUI offender is subject to New York's Child Endangering Law - the offense is a Class A misdemeanor and punishable by up to one year imprisonment
- If minor passenger is under 15 years old, the DWI offender may be charged with a separate offense of Driving While Intoxicated with a Child Passenger
- If convicted, the offense is a state jail felony punishable by at least 180 days confinement in a state jail
These penalties apply to non-injury DUI offenses only.
What Can You Do if You are Arrested for Drunk Driving DUI/DWI?
If you are arrested for Drunk Driving DUI /DWI, you should speak to a lawyer immediately to learn more about your rights, your defenses and the complicated legal system. There are very narrow deadlines for contesting the suspension of your license.
Consult a Lawyer - Present Your Case Now!
Last Modified: 09-23-2010 03:05 PM PDT
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