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DUIs: Substantially Worse if a Child is in the Vehicle

December 14th, 2016 at 11:01 am

duis, Rolling Meadows DUI Defense LawyerIllinois has strict laws when it comes to driving under the influence of alcohol. Driving under the influence is defined by 625 ILCS 5/11-501 as occurring when a person is operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, which can be shown if his or her blood alcohol concentration is 0.08 or more.

Law enforcement, prosecutors, and the courts take DUI offenses very seriously. Moreover, they levy the harshest criminal charges that they can justify against an alleged drunk driver. However, when children are involved in a DUI, punishment can become substantially worse for the accused drunk driver.

Not only is your driver’s license automatically suspended when you are arrested for DUI, but you also face a misdemeanor charge for a first time offense, presuming that there are no aggravating factors involved in your DUI. If there are aggravating factors, your offense could be upgraded to a felony DUI offense.

One aggravating factor for a DUI is when a child is being transported in the vehicle as a passenger when the driver gets a DUI. Not only can a drunk driver be charged under the state’s DUI laws when he or she is transporting a child while under the influence of alcohol, but the offense could also result in additional child endangerment charges.

Child Passengers Enhance DUI Penalties

Illinois lawmakers were concerned about protecting children from drunk driving when they created Illinois’ DUI laws and penalties. That is why the penalties associated with a DUI are enhanced if a child under the age of 16 is in the vehicle at the time of the DUI. If a DUI involves some sort of automobile accident, and the child is injured during the DUI-related accident, then the offense can be upgraded to a class 4 felony.

This is sometimes also referred to as an aggravated DUI, and a conviction for an aggravated DUI involving an injured child carries additional penalties, such as an increased fine and a longer community service requirement. For example, when a child is injured in a DUI-related accident, the driver could face six months in jail with no chance of work release, a $5,000 fine, and a community service requirement of 25 hours.

The consequences for driving under the influence with a child passenger in Illinois can be expensive, very serious, and long lasting. If you have been arrested and charged with violating Illinois DUI laws, and you had a child passenger at the time of your DUI arrest, you need to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. It may be possible to get your charges reduced to a lesser offense.

Contact Our Offices Today

DUI charges should never be taken lightly. Only an experienced Rolling Meadows DUI defense attorney will know how to help you fight your DUI charges. Contact us today for help.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K11-501

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Written by Staff Writer

December 14th, 2016 at 11:01 am

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