Car accidents are a leading cause of death for children in the U.S. As parents, guardians and responsible adults, we should make sure children are buckled in safely. We should always follow the rules of the road, especially those that involve alcohol and driving. Oklahoma DUI child endangerment laws are tricky to navigate, and possibly for good reason. If you drink and drive and are responsible for the safety of a child in your care, you will face pretty strict consequences.
In Oklahoma, 404 children were involved in DUI crashes in 2014. Those drivers were automatically charged with a felony, even if it was a first offense with a low blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at the time of the driver’s arrest. Not only that, but with a child passenger present in a vehicle, the driver can also expect to face child endangerment charges.
Oklahoma DUI child endangerment charges will result in the following:
- The intervention of child protective services.
- A felony on the driver’s criminal record
- Susbstance abuse evalutation and/or treatment.
- Up to $5,000 in fines.
- Four year maximum mandatory jail sentence for any.
- An ignition interlock requirement once the offender is out of jail, in order to restore driving privleges.
On November 1, 2017, Oklahoma will expand ignition interlock access for all DUI offenders, even first-time offenders and those who drive under the influence of drugs or other controlled substances.
The consequences for an Oklahoma DUI child endangerment incident are strict, but there is a lot more to the crime than just facing a judge. Children cannot choose who is driving them, nor can they stop an adult from getting behind the wheel and driving under the influence of alcohol or other substances. It is our job to protect those who cannot stand up for themselves, even if that means we call a taxi for us to all get home safely.