What Happens When You Receive a DUI With a Child in the Car
Imagine…you are driving home on Christmas Eve with your little ones sleeping in the back seat, or you are on your way home after a long Fourth of July day at the lake. You had a few beers, but you feel comfortable enough to drive. But then you get pulled over, the officer asks you to take a breath test, and you, thinking that everything will be fine, comply. You blow over .08 BAC and are arrested for drunk driving. Worse, you are charged with child endangerment. What was a fun day has turned into every parent’s nightmare. What started as a fun night of family time and a few drinks may have ended in a $1,000 fine and a year in jail.
If you were pulled over, arrested, and charged with an OWI and child endangerment in Michigan, your future and relationship with your child may be at stake. Do not let a night of fun and questionable decisions ruin your future. Call the Grand Rapids OWI defense lawyers at Van Den Heuvel Law Office to discuss your legal options today.
Michigan is a Zero Tolerance State
Michigan is a Zero Tolerance state, meaning that a driver with a BAC of .08 or higher and who has a child under the age of 16 in the vehicle at the time of the citation is subject to criminal charges (Michigan Vehicle Code (MVC 257.625)). First time offenders are subject to fines of up to $1,000, up to 90 hours of community service, and up to one year in jail. They may also lose driving privileges and be forced to undergo mandatory counseling. Second or subsequent offenders face much more severe penalties, including felony criminal charges, fines up to $5,000, imprisonment for up to one year, and up to 180 days of community service.
If the offending driver is underage and transporting a friend or sibling who is 16 years or younger, he or she could be subject to up to 60 days of community service, up to $500 in fines, and up to 93 days in jail.
How to Beat OWI Child Endangerment Charges
Most parents who are arrested and charged with OWI child endangerment charges are not bad parents. Rather, they are simply individuals who were out with family or friends having a good time. While out, they may have unwittingly had one too many beverages to qualify for the legal limit. Unfortunately, the law does not care that a parent THOUGHT he or she was okay to drive; the law only cares that the parent was not, by legal definition, okay to drive, and that he or she did so despite having a few drinks and despite having his or her young ones in the car. As a result, that parent faces criminal charges. Worse, that parent faces losing custody of his or her child altogether.
If you were arrested for drinking and driving and charged with an OWI and child endangerment, time is not on your side. When it comes to suspect child endangerment, the state acts quickly, and your children may be taken from your home before you have time to defend yourself. A skilled OWI child endangerment defense lawyer can defend your rights and ensure that your family stays together. Do not take chances with charges as serious as the ones you face, and call the Grand Rapids OWI defense lawyers at Van Den Heuvel Law Office to schedule your consultation today.