999 Fifth Avenue, Suite 350, San Rafael, CA 94901

Call Today for Your Free Consultation
Call Us 415-729-7300

What Are the Penalties for DUI With a Child Passenger in California?

 Posted on January 16, 2024 in DUI

Blog ImageDriving under the influence (DUI) is a serious offense that can have severe consequences. When a driver chooses to get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol or drugs, they put the safety of themselves and their passengers at risk, including children, who will be likely to be seriously injured if a drunk driver is involved in a car accident. 

In California, driving under the influence with a child passenger in the vehicle is considered an aggravated form of DUI. The state takes this offense very seriously, and drivers in these situations may face harsh penalties that are meant to prevent people from committing such dangerous acts. If you are facing charges for DUI with a child passenger in California, an experienced attorney can help you understand what you may be up against while ensuring you can take the correct steps to defend against a conviction.

Potential Penalties for DUI With Child Passenger

The penalties for DUI offenses involving child passengers vary depending on several factors including:

  • The driver's prior DUI convictions within the past ten years

  • The age of the child involved

  • Injuries sustained by the child or other parties in an accident

  • Other aggravating factors, such as reckless driving or property damage

If a person is charged with DUI, and a child under the age of 14 was in the vehicle, they may face enhanced penalties. The following enhancements may apply:

  • First-time DUI: If a person had not been convicted of DUI within the previous 10 years, the sentence imposed upon a conviction will be enhanced by 48 hours in a county jail. This will be in addition to the sentence of 96 hours to six months that will apply for a first-time DUI conviction.

  • Second DUI: If a person had one previous DUI conviction within the last 10 years, they will face a sentence enhancement of 10 days in a county jail in addition to the sentence of 90 days to one year that may be imposed for a second DUI conviction.

  • Third DUI: A person who has two previous DUI convictions within the last 10 years will face a sentence enhancement of 30 days in a county jail in addition to the 120-day to one-year sentence that applies for a third DUI conviction.

  • Fourth or subsequent DUI: A person with three or more DUI convictions within 10 years will face a sentence enhancement of 90 days in a county jail in addition the a 180-day to one-year sentence.

If a child was injured in an accident that occurred while a driver was intoxicated, the driver may face charges for DUI resulting in serious injury. This offense can result in a prison sentence of 90 days to one year. 

Child Endangerment Charges

In addition to facing charges for driving under the influence, if there is evidence that a driver put a child at risk due to their intoxication, they may also face additional charges for child endangerment. This offense may apply if a person is accused of wilfully causing a child to suffer an injury or experience pain or placing a child in a situation where their health and safety are put at risk. A conviction for child endangerment may result in a sentence of up to one year in a county jail or two, four, or six years in a state prison. The severity of the sentence will depend on factors such as the extent of the child’s injuries, the negligence or carelessness exhibited, and a person’s previous criminal record.

Contact Our Napa, CA DUI With a Child Passenger Attorney

Driving under the influence with a child passenger is a very serious offense in California. If you have been charged with this offense, it is crucial to seek immediate legal advice from a qualified Sonoma DUI defense lawyer who has experience handling these types of cases. The skilled attorney at Burglin Law Offices, P.C. will thoroughly investigate your case, gather evidence on your behalf, and work tirelessly to build a strong defense aimed at minimizing or dismissing the charges against you. Contact us today at 415-729-7300 to schedule a free consultation.

Share this post:
Back to Top