States make it illegal for any driver to operate a vehicle while under the influence of drugs and/ or alcohol. States also make it illegal for a driver to operate a vehicle drunk while a child is in the vehicle. In California, driving with a child in the vehicle is a crime defined in Vehicle Code 23572 and it’s treated very seriously. Unlike most states, California doesn’t treat the two acts separately. Driving with a young passenger in the vehicle is referred to as an enhanced penalty. The state defines a minor passenger as anyone under the age of 14 years old.
An enhancement penalty is only added if the State can show you drover while under the influence of alcohol. Simply put, if you are charged and convicted of a DUI misdemeanor DUI with a minor in the vehicle, you’ll face additional penalties.
The law doesn’t account for your intentions not to harm the child while driving drunk. If your blood alcohol concentration, or BAC, is over the limit, the law applies the additional penalties.
What are the Penalties for a DUI Charge with a Child in the Vehicle?
The penalties for DUI with a child in the vehicle depends on the offense. Your first DUI misdemeanor with a child in the vehicle is an addition two days in jail. A second conviction is another 10 days in jail. A third conviction is an additional 30 days in jail. A fourth conviction is 90 days in jail.
State law defines a previous DUI as any drunk driving conviction which occurs within the past 10 years.
Child Endangerment and Drunk Driving Laws
Child DUI endangerment statutes are separate crimes. The prosecutor has an option which crime to charge you with if law enforcement believed you had a child in the vehicle. The charges include:
- Child endangerment and DUI with penalty enhancement
- VC 23572 with penalty enhancement
- Penal Code 273 (a) which is DUI and child endangerment
California law is tough on drivers who knowingly driving and drive while a child is in the vehicle. This is called child endangerment. It takes the situation so seriously, it creates two different crimes to charge you with. This means you can face several charges for the same DUI offense.
Have you or someone you know been arrested for DUI with a child in the vehicle? It’s essential you hire an experienced DUI attorney as quickly as possible. The Law Offices of Jonathan Franklin will go over the details of the DUI charge and determine all the options available. This includes finding evidence and preserving it for trial. Contact the Law Offices of Jonathan Franklin today and take the first step towards resolving the matter and moving on with your life.