You took the kids out to dinner. While at the restaurant, you had one beer too many. You think you’re safe to drive until you see the police lights in the rearview mirror. You look in the backseat, and an icy jet shoots through your veins. You wonder what will happen to you and your kids if you’re arrested for a DUI with underage passengers.
If there are children in the vehicle at the time of a DUI arrest, law enforcement might pursue child endangerment charges in addition to the DUI charge. This is a second charge, separate from the DUI, and comes with increased penalties.
On the first offense, a DUI driver with underage passengers could find themselves facing a several thousand dollar fine, several days of community service, license suspension, mandatory ignition interlock device installation, and up to 9 months in jail.
Getting Kids to Safety
If children are in the vehicle during a DUI arrest, police will likely provide an opportunity to call spouses, relatives, or family friends who can get the children and give them a place to stay for the evening. However, if no one can be reached, police will reach out to Child Protective Services (CPS) to arrange for temporary lodging.
Kids with Drivers Licenses
If one of the children is under the age of 18 but holds a driver’s license with night driving privileges, the police may let them drive the car away from the scene. Florida has no passenger restriction law for teen drivers, meaning the teen driver should be able to drive their siblings home as well.
If you’re facing DUI charges, you may want to speak with an attorney. If you’d like an experienced Miami criminal defense attorney from Hubbs Law to evaluate your case, please send us an email or call (305) 570-4802.