Featured News 2016 DUI and Child Endangerment

DUI and Child Endangerment

While each state has enacted its own DUI/DWI laws and penalties, there are definite similarities. For example, a first DUI with no aggravating factors is usually a misdemeanor in all states.

A DUI involving serious injuries or death is typically a felony, and if a driver is caught driving under the influence with a child in their vehicle, usually under 14 or 15 years of age, they will face additional charges and penalties.

Driving under the influence with a child in the vehicle is sometimes called "child endangerment" or "endangering a child." The exact language depends on the state. In Texas, for example, DWI with a child in the vehicle is covered under Section 22.041, abandoning or endangering a child.

DWI With a Child in the Vehicle

Each state has similar laws to Texas in regards to drunk driving with a child in the vehicle, but we're going to take a look at the laws in Texas. Under Sec. 22.041, a person can be charged under this section whenever they recklessly place a child under 15 years old in imminent danger of bodily injury, mental impairment, or death.

Since a child can be seriously injured or killed by a drunk driver, who is often the child's parent, the intoxicated driver can be prosecuted under this section. Such individuals can face additional fines and penalties on top of the DWI charge. In Texas, DWI with a child passenger is a state jail felony.

Penalties for drunk driving with a child passenger in Texas, include:

  • Up to two years in a state jail
  • A fine not to exceed $10,000
  • Loss of driver's license for 6 months

If you're charged with a simple first DWI in Texas or anywhere else, and a child was in your vehicle, you will likely face separate criminal charges for the two offenses, which can have a huge impact on you and your family.

If you're facing DUI charges with or without a child passenger, you need a strong defense. Contact a local DUI attorney today!

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