DWI with a Minor Passenger
Driving while intoxicated with a child passenger is a criminal offense that has a much higher penalty range than a standard DWI charge. This charge is applied when someone is discovered to be driving while intoxicated with a child under the age of 15 as a passenger.
Drunk driving with a child passenger is a much more serious offense than a standard DWI. This offense may be viewed as a threat to the safety of a child, resulting in greatly enhanced penalties.
Some of the penalties for drinking and driving with a child passenger in Houston, Texas are similar to the penalties for a standard DWI. These can include a driver’s license suspension, jail time, fines, probation and the mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device.
The punishments for DWI with a minor in the car can be stacked on top of the typical DWI penalties. Some of them are:
- Loss of child custody
- Loss of ability to work with children
- Possible loss of job involving work with children
- Loss of right to vote, own a gun or receive government assistance
Unlike a standard DWI conviction, a conviction for driving while intoxicated with a minor in the car is a felony that cannot be erased or expunged from a criminal record.
DWI with a Child Passenger Defenses
The defenses for this crime can be somewhat similar to common DWI defenses in Houston, Texas. For example, one common defense tactic is to attack the methods used to determine blood alcohol concentration. The devices used to determine this data must be calibrated properly in order to take accurate readings and not all officers have been adequately trained in the calibration process.
A defense attorney may claim that the blood alcohol data in a particular case was improperly collected and therefore cannot be used as evidence in court. This may cause the prosecution’s case to suffer and result in a dropped charge.
Ultimately, if you have been charged with driving drunk with a minor passenger, you may be in a lot of trouble without the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney. Hiring an attorney may be your best bet in reducing or even eliminating your criminal charges, so you can get back to living your life.