What can happen if you have a child in your car and are arrested for DUI?

In some situations, you can face additional charges or have the penalties enhanced if you are pulled over and arrested for DUI in Virginia. One such circumstance is if you have a child under 17 years old in your vehicle when charged with DUI. If convicted, your sentence will include serious mandatory penalties.

What Are the Punishments for Transporting a Child While Intoxicated?

Young Child Sitting in the Backseat of a Car

Driving when intoxicated with a child under 17 years old is considered a form of child endangerment in Virginia. Under Virginia’s DUI Child Endangerment Law, which is Virginia Code § 18.2-270(D), there are mandatory punishments in addition to those for DUI. For a first offense conviction, the sentence will include:

  • A minimum fine of $500 up to a maximum of $1,000
     
  • Mandatory minimum jail sentence of five days

Under this law, mandatory minimum sentences are cumulative, and any mandatory minimum jail sentences must be served consecutively. If your DUI resulted in an injury to a child, you may face more serious charges and penalties.

Being convicted of DUI while transporting a child can result in other long-term consequences in your life. For example, your custody and visitation rights may be limited or lost.

Contact Our Skilled Lawyers If You Have Been Arrested for DUI

Have you been charged with DUI child endangerment or another DUI offense in Fairfax or Northern Virginia? It is important to keep in mind that you may have strong defenses to the charges that can result in them being dismissed or reduced to a less serious offense even if you are guilty.

The experienced DUI lawyers at Greenspun Shapiro PC can identify your strongest defenses and create a strategy to help you achieve the best possible outcome given your situation. To learn more about how we can assist you, call our Fairfax office to schedule a free consultation today.