Kane County criminal defense attorneyAbout 600 child passengers are killed in a car accident every year, and approximately one-fourth of them die in a crash involving a drunk driver. We realize that for most parents the priority is to keep their children safe and prevent a tragedy. But if you are arrested for a DUI with a child in tow, there is a good chance child protective services will get involved, and you would benefit from having an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side.

Parental Abuse of Authority

Parents have authority over their children, but the reality is that children often have little choice but to get in the car with their parents even if they are drunk. Under Illinois law, no one can knowingly endanger the life or health of a child under 18 years old because it is considered child endangerment.

 The courts are vested in protecting and safeguarding the children. There is a good chance that CPS will investigate and monitor the situation as it looks for patterns of abuse of authority and ongoing risk to the child. You could even lose parental rights.

Child Endangerment Penalties

There is not a lot of leniency for a drunk driver if police find children in the car at the time of the arrest. On top of the penalties for a DUI conviction, you could face child endangerment charges

If you are convicted of a first DUI while transporting a child under 16, you face up to six months in jail, a mandatory fine of $1,000, and 25 days of community service in a program that benefits children.

If, however, you are involved in a crash with a child passenger that results in bodily injury to the child it is considered aggravated DUI. There is a mandatory fine of $2,500 and 25 days of community service in a program that benefits children.

The penalties only increase with subsequent convictions. Child endangerment charges typically do not become felony charges unless a child has died because of endangerment or the offense is a second or subsequent child endangerment conviction.

Contact a Kane County Criminal Defense Lawyer

At [[title]] we know that a conviction for DUI with a child passenger can affect the rest of your life, not just in terms of criminal charges but in possible child custody matters. With this in mind, it is crucial to work with an experienced Aurora criminal defense attorney. Call [[phone]] for a free consultation.

 

Sources:

 https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K11-501 

https://www.cdc.gov/transportationsafety/child_passenger_safety/cps-factsheet.html 

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=072000050HArt%2E+12C&ActID=1876&ChapterID=53&SeqStart=32300000&SeqEnd=34200000 

https://www.ilsos.gov/publications/pdf_publications/dsd_a118.pdf

Read More