Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Child Endangerment - What it Means to Get a DUI When You Have Your Kids in the Car - Boise Criminal Attorney

What seems to be a fairly new phenomenon is popping up all over the headlines.  Child endangerment. It's not endangering a child that is new, it's just the circumstances surrounding it.  Many parents don't know that you cannot drink and drive with a child in the car and if you do you will be in serious trouble.

It is not unusual to hear about people who go out to dinner or over to friends' houses and have a few drinks. No biggie, right? Wrong.  If you are pulled over and impaired not only will you be cited for DUI, who will be cited for Child Endangerment and you will need to hire a Boise Criminal Attorney. Another situation that seems to be a new phenomenon or at least seems to be gaining traction in the news headlines is women driving while intoxicated with their kids in the car.  Many have heard of the latest series of child endangerment cases involving mothers driving drunk with their kids in the car. 

The law stems from an Idaho Code section which adds additional charges to your DUI if you have kids in the car.  The reasoning behind the law is that you have placed individuals who are incapable of making important legal decisions in a circumstance where they can be seriously hurt or killed.  It is different if you are driving with an adult.  The logic is that an adult should have the ability to say "No, I won't drive in a car with an intoxicated person", and if they do, it is a choice they made themselves.

Driving while intoxicated with kids in the car has is a serious problem and worsening over time.  Between 1985-1996 of the children killed in drinking and driving related accidents 64% were killed as passengers in their impaired parent's car.  That number increased between 1997-2002 to 68%.  Despite these statistics, not all states have child endangerment laws involving  DUI.

Idaho, however, does have a child endangerment law.  Although many individuals do not know it, driving with kids in the car while under the influence is a serious crime.  Whether you learn it here or after the fact from the news, you need to know it is a serious crime.

If you have been charged with a DUI or with child endangerment and you need an Idaho Criminal Lawyer, give us a call, 208-472-2383.  You will be glad you did.