Driving on the road together with your kids after drinking is a huge risk. You can put your life and your child’s life in danger due to your actions.
Driving Under the Influence (DUI) is the crime of drunk driving. Meanwhile, drunk driving is the act of consuming alcoholic drinks and driving on the road. DUI is a misdemeanor, but it could ultimately lead to a felony, depending on the evidence presented at the court.
According to the laws of the United States, if a driver has at least 0.08 blood alcohol concentration (BAC) in their body, then he/she is guilty of drunk driving. The penalty for such violation varies in each state and the intensity of damage done to people and property.
Thus, in this article, we will discuss the reasons why you should not drink and drive with your kids and its possible effects.
1. Drunk Driving is Against The Law
In general, drunk driving is against the law because you are putting your and other people’s lives and property at risk. If you are found guilty by the court, you will be asked to do the following based on the severity of the case:
● Pay Damages
● License suspension
● Community service
● Extend probation due to violation
Since 1910, there have been some laws on drunk driving in the United States. However, in the 1980s, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) helped push into legislation stricter laws that will safeguard the innocent people such as the children. For example, they have successfully changed the attitude of people about drunk driving and the conviction of offenders who are found guilty of the violation of the law.
2. Drunk Driving With Kids Is An Aggravating Circumstance
Drunk driving with your kids in the backseat can only make matters worse since it is an aggravating circumstance.
Aggravating circumstances increase the guilt and the severity of a criminal act and support the imposing of stricter penalties. It is harsher than the regular DUI since there’s another factor to prove in the court that you are at fault.
Drunk driving is a misdemeanor, but when the court found out that you are accompanied by a child while driving, then, the case will become a felony or a crime with an element of violence. With this, the punishment will be harsher if convicted.
The penalties for aggravated DUI are the following:
● Felony charge case
● Longer community service
● Longer probation terms
● Revocation of car insurance policy
● Cancellation of driver’s license
● Confiscation of the automobile
● Installation of the ignition interlock device (IID)
Meanwhile, here are some of the factors that will aggravate drunk driving:
● The BAC is above 0.08 threshold
● Severe damage to public or private properties
● A minor is in the backseat
● Prior DUI convictions
3. Child Abuse: Child Neglect or Child Endangerment
In extreme cases, the authorities can charge the driver of the car with Child Neglect or Child Endangerment, which is a separate criminal case from DUI and it is not in the traffic laws. Such a provision is transparent in some states’ Drunk Driving Child Endangerment Laws.
According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), driving drunk with a minor at the backseat is a form of child abuse.
The Federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) and the Keeping Children and Families Safe Act of 2003 define child abuse as the failure of the parent or the caretaker to protect the child which has resulted in severe injuries, exploitation, imminent danger, serious harm, or death.
Thus, in these laws, the minor with a drunk driver is at risk of danger since they are with an impaired person who cannot protect them from accidents that might happen on the road. For example, a drunk driver cannot even put a proper seat belt on a child, and it is legally required when traveling.
Meanwhile, the possible penalty for parents or guardian under the crime of child abuse as reflected in various laws of the United States is the following:
● Parenting or training assistance issued by the court
● Removal of parent’s custody of the child and transferring them to other relatives or foster care
● Possible termination of parental duties and rights
● Criminal record and tarnished reputation
In sum, drinking and driving with kids with you is a big no because you are exposing them to danger and you are affecting your reputation as guardian or parents of the kids.
As someone who must take care of the kids, you have full responsibility, and their safety must be your top priority. Being drunk is neglecting your duties as caretaker of the child.
Choose between drinking and driving, and do not combine the two. Take care of your life and your child’s because they are precious. Don’t waste your time drinking and driving recklessly, especially with kids.
If you’re involved with the law because of drunk driving, it’s best that you take actions for the situation to not become worst - and checking this website can become a great help for you to do that.
Disclaimer: The article is general information about Drinking and Driving With Kids and it is not meant to substitute the legal advice of experts. If you wish to learn more legal tips about drunk driving with kids, it is advisable to consult a lawyer.
Annie Gray writes topics on law subjects that can help the common reader understand them better. She keeps herself fit and healthy by jogging during her free time.