A 26-year-old man faces his 5th drunk driving charge. A police officer approached his vehicle upon seeing it stopped in the middle of an intersection at a yellow caution light. A Van Buren County sheriff’s deputy later determined that the man was intoxicated after conducting a breath test and that he had a 4-year-old child in the car with him. The man was charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OWI) and child endangerment.
The story referenced above is a common trend arising across the country. More parents are continuing to drive drunk or drugged with their children in the car. As a result, state legislators are taking action to increase the criminal sentencing and penalties against the convicted offenders.
Several states, such as Maryland, have recently drafted legislation aimed at reducing the occurrence of parents driving drunk with children in the car.
The Maryland House of Delegates recently voted and passed a measure to toughen the penalties for individuals convicted of drunk driving with children in a car. Under the new bill, individuals will now be charged with a felony if arrested for driving drunk with a child in the car. If convicted of the felony, the maximum penalty would be set at four years in prison and a fine of $1,000 to $5,000. The bill also mandates the installation of an ignition interlock device that requires a breathalyzer test prior to a convicted offender starting his/her car.
State Rep. Al Adinolfi, a Republican stated the following regarding the matter:
The bottom line is we need to do whatever we can to ensure public safety and eliminate drunk driving…that’s why the legislature hopes to crack down with more stringent penalties for child endangerment and discourage multiple DUI offenders in its upcoming lawmaking session.
In Michigan, it is against the law to drive a vehicle under the influence of alcohol with a child under the age of 16.To find out the penalties and sentencing for driving drunk with children in the car in Michigan click here.
If you have been arrested for a drunk driving offense in Ann Arbor, contact Washtenaw County criminal defense attorney Stacey Washington for legal advice. Stacey Washington has helped many clients mitigate any long-term consequences of DUIs.