Driving Under the Influence with a Child in the Car
No matter the circumstances, a conviction for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs in Virginia brings serious consequences. Those consequences will become even more severe if you’re pulled over for driving drunk while transporting a person under age 18. Read on to learn more about the offense known as DUI child endangerment.
There are numerous ways that the offense of driving under the influence can be considered “aggravated” in some way, including by having a blood alcohol level of .15% or higher, or by causing serious injury to someone else in an alcohol-related crash. One particularly serious drunk driving-related charge is that of DUI child endangerment. Virginia residents who are convicted of DUI child endangerment, or driving with a blood alcohol level over .08% with a child passenger who is under 18, could receive a fine between $500 and $1000, as well as a mandatory minimum five days’ imprisonment, in addition to the standard penalties for being convicted of driving under the influence. For a second offense of DUI child endangerment, individuals could face 80 hours of community service in addition to the aforementioned penalties. If the child found in your car is your own child, you could even face serious consequences such as losing custody or visitation rights. The punishment will become even more serious if the child is injured in the crash. One local woman was recently sentenced to nine years in prison when she crashed her car while driving drunk, and the accident caused her son to become fatally injured.
According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, 20% of all children who were fatally injured in car accidents in 2012 were victims of alcohol-related crashes. Over half of all those children were passengers in the car of the person driving under the influence. These children are also less likely to be wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash, further increasing the likelihood that they will be injured in a crash. If you face charges of DUI child endangerment, these sorts of statistics could cause a jury to assume the worst about you, without aggressive and intelligent representation before the court.
If you are facing criminal charges for DUI or DUI child endangerment, don’t risk losing your freedom or developing a criminal record; get help defending yourself against such charges by contacting the seasoned and aggressive Virginia criminal defense attorneys at the Pack Law Firm for a consultation, at 540-586-7225.