Drinking under the influence is already a criminal offense. DUI or DWI with a minor passenger is even a much graver offense. You should know that there is a law that naturally criminalizes child endangerment. And while lawyers can help you, remember that you’ll have to face more charges for drunk driving with a minor.
The Leandra’s Law
Better known as the Child Passenger Protection Act of 2009, Leandra’s Law requires all individuals who had drunk driving charges – be it as misdemeanor or felony – to install an ignition interlock device on their respective vehicles. This include maintaining and operating this device for not less than six months or as the court deems necessary.
Enacted in November 2009, this is in response to the tragic car accident that resulted in the death of 11-year old Leandra Rosado. Leandra was one of eight children who rode an SUV driven by the mother of one of her friends who crashed the SUV on the Henry Hudson Parkway in New York’s Manhattan District.
Child Endangerment Law
Aside from the Leandra’s Law, the court may also charge you of child endangerment. Depending on certain jurisdictions, the penalties for DUI child endangerment can range from two to 10 years in state prison as well as paying at least 150,000 USD in fine. Noll Law Office and other legal professionals noted that this is in addition to the penalties you will receive for drunk driving.
There are other criminal charges that the court may bring up against you in case they found that you have a child passenger while driving intoxicated and have been involved in a traffic accident. These can include the following:
- Class C felony for risking injuries to a minor, which can have a fine of up to 10,000 USD or a prison term of not more than 10 years or both.
- Second degree manslaughter with a motor vehicle, which can have a fine of up to 10,000 USD or a prison term of not more than 10 years or both.
- Second degree assault with a motor vehicle, which can have a fine of up to 5,000 USD or a prison term of not more than 5 years or both.
The penalties are in addition to driver’s license suspension and revocation as well as the mandatory installation of ignition interlock devices.
Driving under the influence is already a criminal offense. Do not add a much graver offense by driving intoxicated with a child in your car. Do not put them at risk or better yet, do not drive at all if you know that you can put them in danger.