A single dad in Arlington Heights has been having a rough few months. He is worried he will be laid off from his job any day now, and he has no time to look for work because he shares custody of his two young sons, both under the age of 10. Looking to blow off a little steam, he decides to kick back and watch the Cubs opening day game and drink a few beers. Before he knows it, he has to pick up his older son from sports camp, a quick five-minute drive away. He is sure he is fine to drive, but on the way back home, with his son in the back seat, he runs a stoplight and hits another motor vehicle. When officers arrive at the scene of the accident, they find the two vehicles heavily damaged. Officers observe several cues that lead them to suspect the man is under the influence of alcohol.
Witnesses of the accident told police officers that the suspect ran a red light, and collided with the other car. Prosecutors charged the man with an aggravated DUI as well as a misdemeanor for endangering the child’s life. A judge ordered him to be held on a $100,000 bail.
DUI Charges When Driving with a Child in the Vehicle
In the case above, the defendant was allegedly driving while intoxicated. He will face greater penalties if convicted because he was endangering a child at the time he was arrested for the DUI. When Illinois police officers catch a defendant driving while intoxicated with a child in the vehicle, judges can impose extra penalties as part of the DUI charge, called enhancements, even if it is the drunk driver’s own child in the back seat.
Lawmakers consider driving with a child in the car while intoxicated as a form of child endangerment. Under Illinois’ Child Endangerment Law, any driver convicted of a DUI while transporting a child age 15 or younger will be subject to a minimum fine. If convicted, the defendant will also be subject to community service through a program that benefits children.
At Glasgow & Olsson, we are familiar with all of the case law related to enhanced DUI penalties for driving with a minor child in the car. Not every drunk driving case that involves a minor child results in enhanced sentencing because not every situation involves the same level of danger. After evaluating the unique facts in your case, we can determine the best legal strategy to help you avoid jail time, which is extremely important if you are facing enhanced DUI penalties.
Defending Against DUI Charges
Whether you are facing a DUI charge or a DUI charge along with another criminal charge, you need help from an experienced lawyer as soon as possible. At Glasgow & Olsson, we know that when you need help, experience matters. No matter how serious the charges are that you currently face, you deserve a lawyer who will fight for your rights. Contact our law firm today to schedule your initial consultation.