When you decide to drive with your children in your vehicle, you need to be very cautious. The reality is that one mistake could put the lives of those in your vehicle at risk.
If you are stopped and accused of driving while impaired with children in your vehicle, you could face a DUI that is raised to an aggravated charge. You could also face accusations of child abuse.
What happens if your child is in your vehicle when you face a DUI?
If you are arrested and charged for a DUI while your child is in your vehicle, you should expect for your children being there to increase the penalties and add an aggravating factor. You may also face child abuse charges which could have a negative impact on your right to custody if you are divorced or going through a divorce.
Additionally, there is a risk that Child Protective Services could get involved and take away your children if they are harmed as a result of your alleged impaired driving.
What do you need to do if you’re facing DUI charges?
If you are currently facing DUI charges and your children were with you at the time of the arrest, you need to take this case very seriously and take steps to defend yourself. If this was your first DUI, the DUI itself may be a misdemeanor. However, there is a risk that the aggravating factors could increase the charges.
Additionally, with the addition of child abuse charges, you will need to fight to get the initial charge dismissed or lowered, so you have a better chance of keeping contact with your children. Child abuse charges are sometimes misdemeanors and sometimes felonies in Colorado.
In either case, you will face heavy fines, a risk of a jail or prison sentence and other serious penalties. It is valuable to take steps to fight the initial charges, such as by showing that the officer had no reason to stop your vehicle or that the Breathalyzer test was inaccurate. Doing this and being successful could help you mitigate the risk of child abuse charges, too.