What Happens If You Get a DUI While Driving With a Young Child?

Getting a DUI is a serious offense in Rhode Island. If you are caught driving under the influence with a child in the car, you could be facing even more serious penalties. 

If you are convicted of DUI with a child in the car, you could be facing up to 5 years in prison and a $5,000 fine. Your driver’s license will also be suspended for 1 year. In addition, you will be required to complete an alcohol treatment program and install an ignition interlock device on your car. 

Attorney Tips: 

-If you have been charged with DUI with a child in the car, it is important to contact an experienced Rhode Island DUI attorney as soon as possible. An attorney can review your case and help you understand your options.  

-An attorney can also negotiate with prosecutors on your behalf and may be able to get the charges against you reduced or dismissed altogether. Contact a Rhode Island DUI attorney today to learn more about how we can help you. 

Consequences of DUI-Related Child Endangerment 

If you’re a legal adult (at least 18 years old) arrested for a DUI while a child under the age of 13 is in your car, you’ll face an additional allegation of child endangerment in the state of Rhode Island. A conviction can result in harsher penalties than those associated with driving under the influence alone, but there are also immediate ramifications. Your driver’s license will be immediately suspended pending prosecution, for starters. 

In the state of Rhode Island, whether or not you are found guilty of a child endangerment conviction depends on if it is your first offense. You will be convicted of a misdemeanor and sentenced to up to one year in jail and fined up to $1,000 if you are a first-time offender. You might also be fined an additional highway assessment fee of up to $500 and your driver’s license could be revoked for up to two years, at the court’s option. You’ll have to do some sort of education or treatment program after any DUI arrest in order to address alcoholism and drug abuse issues. 

Second and subsequent convictions for endangering a child’s life or health result in even more severe consequences. A conviction implies being found guilty of a felony, serving time in prison up to five years, and paying additional fines of up to $5000, as well as the aforementioned additional penalties, license suspensions, and educational obligations. 

Not only can losing your license, jail time, and fines harm your life if you are convicted of a DUI-related child endangerment crime. Child endangerment may affect future instances in family court and result in the loss of visitation, placement, or custody rights. The Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) will examine your case and the affected youngster’s living situation and may remove the kid from your home as needed. Even if you are not currently involved in a family court case, losing custody is possible.