Texas DWI and Child Endangerment

Texas DWI and Child Endangerment

In Texas, it’s illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or more, but it is possible for a person to be arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI) due to driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, regardless of their BAC.

All that has to be proven is that their ability to drive safely was somehow impaired. Aside from DWI, a driver can face additional criminal charges if he or she drives under the influence with a child passenger in their vehicle.

DWI with a Child Passenger

Since parents cannot leave young children at home unsupervised, mothers and fathers of young children and preteens frequently have to take their children with them almost everywhere they go. Often, these trips involve a family gathering or barbeque, or dinner with friends.

When parents drink alcohol at a family gathering, a restaurant, or even at home and then climb behind the wheel with their children in the vehicle, they can be charged with child endangerment, also known as “endangering a child” under Section 22.041 of the Texas Penal Code.

In Texas, you can be charged with DWI and child endangerment if you drive while intoxicated and have a passenger under the age of 15 in your vehicle. Endangering a child under Sec. 22.041 is a state jail felony. The penalties for DWI with a child passenger, include:

  • Up to a $10,000 fine
  • Up to two years behind bars
  • Loss of driver’s license for six (6) months

Under Sec. 22.041, a person commits child endangerment whenever they engage in conduct that places a child in imminent danger of bodily injury, mental impairment, or death and they do so intentionally, recklessly, or with criminal negligence.

Since driving under the influence is extremely dangerous and places a child at risk of bodily injury or death, DWI with a child passenger falls under the category of endangering a child, and is therefore prosecuted separately from DWI.

If you were arrested for DWI with a child passenger, you need to protect yourself and your family. Call The Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC today!