DUI and Child Endangerment
Driving under the influence is a serious offense that can result in steep penalties. The main reason that lawmakers look to crackdown on DUI offenders is to discourage offenders and keep roads safe. In addition to endangering other drivers, a DUI driver may face additional penalties if they have minors in the vehicle. Because children are not seen by the Court to have control over their own decisions, a driver who operates a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol with a minor in the car are held responsible for endangering the child.
DUI child endangerment is an offense that can lead to great penalties and should be taken very seriously. If you have been arrested for DUI in Seattle and had a child present in the vehicle, call our office right away. Attorney Steve Karimi can help you fight for the results you need.
Washington DUI Child Endangerment Law
Endangering a child is something that lawmakers take very seriously. Under Washington Law RCW 46.61.507, police must make note of any driver who is arrested for driving under the influence or being in physical control of vehicle under the influence with a minor in the vehicle. If the driver is the child's “parent, guardian, legal custodian, or sibling or half-sibling”, police must notify child protective services right away.
In Washington, anyone who is under the age of 16 is legally considered a minor. This means that even having a teenager in the vehicle can result in an endangering a minor notation added to your DUI case.
Penalties for Child Endangerment
Endangering a minor for driving under the influence in Seattle will result in additional penalties and may even affect your parental status. According to RCW 46.61.5055:
If a person who is convicted of a violation of RCW 46.61.502 or 46.61.504 committed the offense while a passenger under the age of sixteen was in the vehicle, the court shall [impose the following penalties]
- An additional sentence of 6 months of ignition interlock (IID) use
- An additional jail sentence as follows:
- 24 hours of incarceration and a fine of at least $1,000 for a first time DUI offender
- 5 days of incarceration and a fine of at least $2,000 for a second time DUI offender
- 10 days of incarceration and a fine of at least $3,000 for a third or fourth time DUI offender
In addition, factors such as having a child passenger in the vehicle at the time of the DUI arrest can lead the judge to enforcing a harsher sentence in the event of w guilty verdict. If you or a loved one have been arrested in Seattle for a DUI involving child endangerment, call The Law Offices of Steve Karimi today to find out what an experienced lawyer can do for you.