It is disturbing that a good number of children who were killed in motor vehicle accidents were due to drivers who were alcohol-impaired. Almost all the states in America have provided for penalties for drunk driving with a minor as passenger under a Child Endangerment Act. They do vary per state, specifically on the definition of a minor.
A driver guilty of driving while intoxicated will not only be charged with DUI but shall also be slapped with risk to injury if he has a minor as passenger. The age of the minor ranges from 14 to 16, depending on the state. A child below that age riding in a vehicle driven by someone with a blood alcohol content of 0.08%, whether or not there was injury or death, will receive additional penalties.
Again, depending on the state, there may either be a separate law for child endangerment or simple enhancing penalties in addition to DUI if a child was in the vehicle driven by a driver found to be under the influence of alcohol.
While anyone charged can get help from DUI attorneys in Springfield, Illinois, the case could not get any better if the incident has caused death to any of the passengers. In fact, the driver may be additionally charged with the crime of 2nd degree manslaughter and this carries a fine of up to $10,000 and imprisonment ranging from up to 10 years.
Number of Offenses
Some drivers never learn even with a prior conviction for DUI. The number of offenses and convictions also weigh in on the court’s decision where DUI with a minor onboard is taken up. If no injuries resulted or only minor injuries were sustained, additional penalties may include jail time from 48 hours to 90 days depending on the number of convictions.
It is bad enough to be drunk while handling a vehicle, but disregarding the safety of minor passengers also deserves punishment. Never drink and drive, especially when with kids in the vehicle.