Most licensed drivers in Texas are well-aware of the fact that it’s against the law to drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs. After all, driving under the influence can lead to an arrest for driving while intoxicated (DWI), which is punishable by up to a $2,000 fine, up to 180 days in jail, and by a one-year driver’s license suspension (for a first offense). What a lot of Texans do not realize is that it’s a separate crime to drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol with a child under the age of 15 in the vehicle. For example, say you have some drinks at a family barbeque, and you drive home with your two kids in the backseat. You’re pulled over because an officer saw you weaving; after failing the breath test, you’re arrested for DWI. Since your two children were in the car at the time of your DWI arrest, you would be charged with child endangerment, in addition to DWI.
What Are the Penalties Involved?
If you are caught driving while intoxicated with child passengers, you will face DWI charges and child endangerment charges. The crime of DWI with a child passenger is punishable by:
- Up to a $10,000 fine
- Up to two years behind bars
- A six-month driver’s license suspension
While DWI with a child passenger is a serious offense, it’s commonly committed by parents every day. All too often, parents go out to dinner and have “a few too many drinks,” or they have alcohol at family gatherings and they don’t realize they’ve had too much to drink. The problem is that when they miscalculate their alcohol intake and drive under the influence with their kids in the vehicle, it can lead to serious criminal penalties as listed above.
If you’re a parent who’s facing DWI with child passenger charges, we urge you to contact The Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC at once for help!