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My Child Was in the Car During a DUI Arrest. Now What?

July 16th, 2018 at 6:54 am

adult DUI, child endangerment, DUI arrest, Illinois DUI laws, Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorneyFor most parents, their children’s safety is a top priority in their life. Even with the best of intentions, parents can make mistakes that put their own safety and their children’s at risk. For some Illinois parents, a child might face a greater risk of injury because of an adult driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. When this happens, a parent might have more to worry about than a pending driving under the influence (DUI) charge. There can be greater consequences for a DUI charge when there is a minor child present in the vehicle.

DUI Law in Illinois

In Illinois, a driver can be charged with a DUI if they are operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or more. A DUI charge brings the risk of potential jail time, fines, court costs, probation, or even court-mandated alcohol treatment. When a driver is charged with a DUI when their child is in the car, child endangerment laws also come into consideration. In Illinois, child endangerment results any time that a minor’s welfare is put in harm’s way because of the reckless behavior of a parent or guardian. In the most extreme cases involving child endangerment, a parent or guardian could even have his or her parental rights terminated because of the endangerment.

All states try to look out for the best interests of minor children. As such, each state has its own laws pertaining to DUIs and minor children. In Illinois, a driver who is charged with a DUI with a minor child present will be charged with a DUI and child endangerment. In the event that a defendant is not charged with child endangerment right away, the state’s attorney reserves the right to add the charge against the defendant after further review.

For the purpose of DUI laws and minor children, in Illinois a minor child is someone that is under the age of 16. While 16 is not traditionally the age in which a child is no longer considered a minor, Illinois courts and legislators have determined that a 16-year-old has the ability to think freely and therefore not get in the vehicle with an intoxicated adult. Additionally, the more offenses a defendant has in his or her history, the harsher the punishment will be.

We Can Help You Today

If you have been charged with a DUI and your child was present resulting in an additional child endangerment charge, you need a dedicated and skilled attorney. A skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney at the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley is here to help you. Don’t let one mistake ruin your life, or your child’s life. Contact us today for a consultation.

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=072000050HArt.+12C&ActID=1876&ChapterID=53&SeqStart=32050000&SeqEnd=32750000

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

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Written by Staff Writer

July 16th, 2018 at 6:54 am

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