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What Happens if an Idaho Parent Commits a DUI Offense With Their Child in the Car?


Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a severe offense in the US state of Idaho. A single DUI conviction can have far-reaching effects on your life. Worse yet if there’s a child in the car. Even if it’s your first DUI, you still will not get off easy. Depending on the circumstances, you may have to serve time in jail, pay a fine, or have your license suspended.

If there was a young person in the car while you were driving under the influence, that makes it worse. You’re worse off because you’re not just endangering yourself and the public; you’re now also endangering minors who are protected by the law. If you were arrested for driving while impaired, you need the help of a Boise DUI attorney.

Consequences of Driving Under the Influence With Your Child

If you drove DUI with a kid in the car, it ceases to be a mere DUI, and you may have to face stiffer penalties. Some of the consequences of a DUI with a child in the car include:

Possible Death or Grievous Harm to the Child

Before considering the legal consequences of driving a DUI with your young charge, think of the possible fate of your kids. It’s stating the obvious to say that if you’re driving intoxicated, you could get yourself and your child killed. You could also survive while your child dies. And, you’ll have to live with the knowledge that your carelessness killed your child. Indeed, it’s not worth it. If you’re out with your child and get under the influence of drugs or alcohol, don’t drive them. Give your keys to someone else, or get a cab.

Enhanced Penalties for Aggravated DUI

If your kid was in the car when the police stopped you for driving impaired, you might face harsher penalties for aggravated DUI. The latter is different from a standard DUI charge. The state can charge you with aggravated DUI if you cause the child:

  • Great bodily harm
  • Permanent disability, or
  • Permanent disfigurement

Aggravated DUI in Idaho is a felony. If you’re convicted, you could spend up to 15 years in prison and pay a fine of up to $5,000. You may even have your driver’s license and driving privileges suspended by the court. If the preceding happens, contact a DUI lawyer in Boise.

An Additional Charge for Child Endangerment

In addition to the DUI charge, you may also get a child endangerment charge for causing injury to a young person according to Idaho Code Section 18-1501. A person commits the offense of injury to a child in Idaho if they are over 18-year-old, and transport a minor in a motor vehicle or vessel while under a substance’s influence. The intoxicating substance could be alcohol, a controlled substance, or any combination of these.

This offense is a misdemeanor in Idaho. As a misdemeanor, you face up to six months imprisonment or a fine of up to $1,000, or both. However, if the child dies or suffers bodily injury due to the violation, it becomes a felony, and upon conviction, you face up to ten (10) years imprisonment or any harsher penalty prescribed by law.

Loss of Child Custody 

Imagine that the police pulled you over for driving under the influence with your kid in the back seat. What happens to the child if you’re arrested or convicted? The law will have to decide who gets your kid. If you have any other family member or relative, the child may go to them.

If there’s none, then your child may have to be sent to a foster home, a kid’s shelter, or any other form of protective custody. No good parent will love to see this happen to their kids. So, it is best not to drive your kids while under the influence.

Arrested for Driving Under the Influence With Your Child? Get a DUI Lawyer Now!

If the police arrest you for driving impaired with your little one, it doesn’t have to be the end for you. A skilled Boise DUI lawyer can still get you off or reduce your charges. Even if you’re convicted, our experienced attorneys practicing in Idaho could argue for a reduced sentence.

Whichever way, it would be best if you contact us immediately after your arrest, as time is of the essence in criminal cases of this nature. Do not try to navigate the process without a lawyer. DUI cases can be tricky, and without the necessary expertise, you will most likely lose. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.