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When you get a DUI or DWI, you're often faced with penalties and costs. But when a child is in the vehicle when you are driving under the influence, a lot of additional consequences and issues come up.
Having a few drinks from time to time does not make you a bad parent. Life is stressful, and being a parent adds extra stresses. Sometimes a glass of wine is in order. But being a parent also adds lots of joys. And it definitely adds many responsibilities.
Chances are, you won't be trying to put your child in a dangerous situation. You will just have a few drinks and think you are OK to drive. You will think your child will be OK especially if it's a short drive. But chances are, you'll have lots of regrets if you get in an accident or get stopped for suspicion of drunk driving.
The additional consequences for having minors in the vehicle while driving under the influence vary widely depending on the circumstances and the laws of the state you're in. You may be charged with separate charges of child endangerment, or it may trigger a sentencing enhancement. Penalties, imprisonment terms, and fines are often heightened when a minor is in the car at the time that a drunk driver is operating it. Other things like parenting classes may be required. If you've had prior issues, custody and legal issues could be even more complicated. According to MADD, "a child in a vehicle with a drinking driver is not only at risk from the impaired driver, but also from the lack of safety restraint use (like a seat belt or child safety seat), as drinking drivers are much less likely to make sure a child is properly restrained." Don't risk your child's safety.
If you're just a social, occasional drinker who doesn't have a drinking problem, you have to just remind yourself that one drink is one drink too many when you'll be driving. If you or someone who cares for your child has a drinking problem and struggles with resisting the urge to drive after drinking, remember that our interlock car device can be used voluntarily even when not court ordered. Contact us for more information on alcohol monitoring solutions.
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