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Is There a Different Penalty for DUI with a Minor in the Car?


To be found guilty of a DUI, the alcohol concentration in your blood must be at least 0.08 for adults, less than 0.08 but more than 0.02 for people under 21, and less than 0.08 but more than 0.04 for commercial drivers. A DUI can also be as a result of drugs and other intoxicating substances, whether legal, controlled, or illegal. If you’re arrested and charged with DUI/DWI with a minor in the car, would you face harsher penalties? The answer is yes. If you are arrested and charged with DUI when there’s a minor in the car, you will face harsher penalties that would apply if there was no minor in the vehicle.

A DUI with a child in the car can result in a separate charge or be a trigger for sentencing enhancement, i.e., you can get a higher fine or longer prison sentence for DUI with a child in the car. In some states, DUI with a minor in the vehicle can result in the crime being reclassified; for example, some states change it from a misdemeanor to a felony. You could be facing up to 10 years in jail and $10,000 in fines. This is due to child endangerment and child injury laws. You will be charged whether or not the child is yours or injured.

Section 18-1501 Idaho Code states that anyone over eighteen (18) years old who DUIs with a minor in the car commits the crime of injury to a child, which is a misdemeanor. The offense is aggravated and made a felony punishable with up to 10 years imprisonment if the DUI results in actual bodily harm to the child or death of the child. This is, however, subject to other laws.

It is tricky to get out of a DUI conviction, and this situation is worsened when a minor is involved. Therefore, you need the services of our expert Boise DUI lawyers to get you out of this sticky situation. Hitting the ground running is key to at least getting a reduced sentence so be sure to contact a Boise DUI attorney immediately so you can get a head start arguing your case.

What Happens After a Conviction?

If found guilty of DUI with a child in the car, the consequences include asides jail time, inability to work with children. This is because you would be regarded as being unable to properly care for children who make up part of the world’s vulnerable population.

So, if you work with kids, say as a teacher, you can kiss your teaching license goodbye. If you’re a commercial driver, you may permanently lose your license to work as one. This consequence is in addition to other DUI punishments such as suspension of license, inability to purchase a firearm, and other standard penalties for DUI conviction in Idaho.

Are There Any Defenses?

Sadly, the fact that the child is not injured is not a defense to Injury to Child by DUI with a child in the car. However, the usual defenses to DUI still apply to this. They include:

  1. The officer had no legal justification for stopping you. To have a successful conviction, the prosecution must show that the officer who arrested you had a legitimate reason for stopping you. If he was stopping cars at random or stopped you due to racial or ethnic profiling, you might be able to get out of a conviction.
  2. You had a legitimate reason for not doing well on the field sobriety test. This includes loss of motor skills due to medications, illness, age, anxiety, and confusing
  3. The Breathalyzer machine wasn’t working correctly.

Your DUI attorney in Boise can fight these charges and get you a reduced sentence or no sentence at all. Contact a DUI lawyer in Boise to talk about your chances and plan your defense strategy.

Do I Need a Lawyer?

If you’ve been charged with a DUI, the best course of action is to contact a DUI lawyer at Boise DUI Attorney whether or not you’ve decided to plead guilty. A Boise DUI lawyer is conversant with Idaho law and legal procedure. If you want a positive outcome, it’s best to contact one immediately. An experienced lawyer can get you a reduced sentence.  They can get a plea bargain for a reduced charge which will save your driving privileges, help you avoid jail and expensive fines, and ensure the blemish on your record is not as bad. Also, he can sentence bargain, which means that you agree to plead guilty but only to a reduced charge.