DUI Child Endangerment Laws

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What Are DUI Child Endangerment Laws?

Nearly every state has some form of child endangerment statute. About half of the states also have DUI child endangerment laws to punish 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.

If you are caught drinking and driving, you could face a number of fines and penalties, such as a license suspension, community service, and even jail time. If you are caught drinking and driving while carrying an underage passenger, you may also face additional charges for drunk driving child endangerment.

What Is Child Endangerment?

Child endangerment is an offense or, alternatively, an added penalty given to an offense when a minor is endangered. Such laws are meant to protect children from criminal wrongdoing by a parent or guardian. Child endangerment laws make it a crime to endanger the health or life of a child through an adult's recklessness or indifference.

Any child endangerment charge is very serious because courts are unlikely to be lenient on penalties in cases where a judge may think a minor child might continue to be at risk or subject to neglect. These criminal charges can result in loss of parental custodial rights.

What Are the Penalties for DUI with a Minor?

Half of all states have enacted laws that are related to child endangerment while driving impaired due to the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.  The penalties imposed by these statutes vary depending on the:

Penalties in conjunction with any other DUI penalties can include one or a combination of the following:

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. A few examples include:

It is worth noting that these penalties apply to non-injury DUI offenses only. If anyone is injured, offenses will be more serious.

What Can You Do If You Are Arrested for Drunk Driving with a Minor?

If you are arrested for drunk driving with a minor in the car, you should speak to a criminal defense lawyer immediately. An attorney can inform you as to your rights, your defenses, and what to expect while going through this process. Additionally, a lawyer can help you contest your license suspension.

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Last Modified: 06-16-2016 03:31 PM PDT

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