Transporting a child to and from school should never require a parent or caregiver to wonder if he or she is sober enough to operate a vehicle. But, that’s not always the case, especially when the parent is a habitual drunk driving offender. Unfortunately, habitual drunk driving and DUI child endangerment are often seen at the same time. A woman in Florida recently tried to pick up her own kids from school while visibly intoxicated – a dangerous choice that could have ended tragically for everyone.
Usually, children don’t have the ability to refuse a car ride with an intoxicated adult. That’s why in many states, if a person is convicted of driving drunk with a child (DUI child endangerment) in the car, he or she will face much stricter consequences. There will be more fines, more chances of an ignition interlock requirement, and a very good chance that person will spend some time in jail. In the case of the Florida woman, she did not drive drunk with her kids in the car, it seems, but, she did manage to drive home while intoxicated, with a measured .413 blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit upon her arrest.
In Florida, the DUI child endangerment laws are very clear. For any passengers in the vehicle under the age of 18, the driver will be fined $1,000- 2,000 and will have a six-month ignition interlock requirement for a first offense. After that, the DUI offender is looking at up to a year in prison, $2,000 – 4,000 in fines and a two-year ignition interlock sentence. Unfortunately, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) reports that more than half of the kids killed in drunk driving accidents are riding with the drunk driver. Kids can’t decide who drives them home, so choose wisely for them by remaining sober behind the wheel.