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Beware: This can lead to enhanced DUI penalties in Virginia

Every driver knows that it is dangerous and illegal to drive under the influence of alcohol. However, we are all human and make mistakes. Some people don’t realize they are legally intoxicated; some people decide to take a risk; some people are suffering from an addiction that affects decision-making skills.

Whatever the case may be, a person can find themselves pulled over by police — or worse, hurt in an accident — and facing allegations of drunk driving. As serious as this situation already is, it can become even worse for a driver if there is a child in the car.

In Virginia, DUI penalties can be enhanced when a child is present in the car with the alleged drunk driver. This is the situation in which one Virginia mother has found herself after she was recently arrested for DUI.

According to reports, the woman got into an accident with her two children in the car. Police reports indicate that at the time of the accident, she had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.20 percent, which is more than twice the legal limit.

Now, not only is she facing drunk driving charges, she is facing enhanced penalties for having her kids in the vehicle. She is also charged with child endangerment and her children are now in protective custody. She has pleaded not guilty.

Under these circumstances, penalties can be much more serious than they would have been for other DUI offenses not involving minors. In addition to higher fines and confinement periods that can be ordered, there may be questions raised about a person’s ability to care for their children and possible addiction concerns.

Considering all that can be at stake in these situations, it can be especially wise to consult an attorney familiar with DUI defense in this state. With legal support, you can work to avoid or minimize the penalties you (and your family) could be faced with.

Source: Record Searchlight, “Not Guilty Plea Given in DUI Case,” April 15, 2016

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