Driving under the influence charges can be tricky to deal with. However, they can become even more complicated when children are in the vehicle.
For example, in California, DUI offenses may get extra penalties when children under the age of 14 are in the car. The presence of children makes the possible offense more serious and can result in other issues.
1. Possible child endangerment charges
About 1.5% of adults in California report driving after drinking too much. If people have a beer or two with their friends and get in the car with their children, this decision could have far-reaching consequences. For example, driving under the influence with minors on board may also lead to additional charges of child endangerment. Convictions for child endangerment can result in additional fines and penalties, compounding the possible legal repercussions.
2. Impact on custody and parental rights
A DUI with children in the vehicle can have far-reaching effects on parental rights and custody arrangements. Family courts in California may view DUI offenses with children present as evidence of endangerment, potentially influencing decisions related to child custody and visitation rights.
3. Stricter sentencing guidelines
California imposes stricter sentencing guidelines for DUI offenses involving children. These guidelines may include longer probation periods, mandatory attendance in alcohol education programs and extended driver’s license suspension.
Driving under the influence with children in the car can significantly worsen the potential DUI penalties. Motorists should be acutely aware of the serious implications that accompany impaired driving, particularly when children are present.