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What are the penalties for DUI with a child in the car?

On Behalf of | Feb 13, 2017 | Drunk Driving

Frankly, getting behind the wheel after having a few drinks is a bad idea, but it is a common mistake. And if you are pulled over by the police and found to be legally intoxicated, you will be charged and arrested. But as long as your actions did not cause any injuries or damages and you don’t have any previous DUI convictions, the situation is fairly manageable.

However, this is not the case if you have a child riding with you when you are arrested. In fact, you could face some very severe penalties. In Florida, an intoxicated driver who has a child under 18 years of age in the vehicle could be issued a prison sentence of up to nine months in duration and a fine of as much as $2,000.

And those penalties apply to the first offense. For a second offense, a driver could be looking at a one-year prison term and a $4,000 fine. Moreover, the driver will be required to use a vehicle outfitted with an ignition interlock system for at least two years.

Such steep penalties could affect your life in a number of ways. First, it’s likely that you are the parent of the child who was in the vehicle. Your ability to care for that child could be placed in jeopardy if you should have to serve a prison sentence. And of course, any conviction could impact your employment opportunities as well.

We all make errors in judgment, but there is a limit to how severe the consequences should be for those errors. If you were arrested for a DUI while you had a child in the car, it is imperative that you have legal representation to help you negotiate your sentence. An experienced DUI attorney could explain your options and help protect your rights as you pursue your best possible outcome.