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DWI With a Child in the Vehicle

There is a lot of confusion about how much alcohol is too much as it relates to driving. A lot of people mistakenly believe that they can drink and later “sober up” with a strong cup of coffee or an energy drink. Others think that they can drink alcohol, wait a few hours and then drive home safely.

Unfortunately, thinking like this can be a BIG mistake, especially if someone subscribes to one of these theories and they drink and then drive home “under the influence” with a minor in their vehicle. Read on as we explain.

DWI With a Child Passenger

According to the Texas Department of Transportation, “Impairment begins with the first drink.” TxDOT continues, “Two or three beers in an hour can make some people legally intoxicated. Women, younger people and smaller people generally become impaired with less alcohol.”

So, if you are caught driving while intoxicated due to alcohol or drugs, you could face DWI charges. However, if there is a child in your vehicle at the time of the DWI stop who is younger than 15-years-of-age, you would face additional criminal charges for driving while intoxicated with a child passenger, which is covered under Section 49.045 of the Texas Penal Code.

DWI with a child passenger under Sec. 49.045 is a state jail felony, punishable by:

  • Up to two years in jail
  • A fine not to exceed $10,000
  • A six-month driver license suspension

If you are charged under Sec. 49.045, you will face the above penalties in addition to the penalties for DWI. If this is your first DWI offense, the penalties for DWI under Section 49.04 of the Penal Code include:

First DWI Offense

  • Up to a $2,000 fine
  • Up to six months in jail
  • Up to one-year driver license suspension
  • An annual fee up to $2,000 to keep your driver license

If you are facing charges for DWI and DWI with a child passenger, you and your family have a lot at stake. For the aggressive defense your situation demands, contact The Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC to meet with a Plano DWI lawyer.