Getting caught allegedly driving drunk is bad enough, but with a minor in the car, the penalties can be even harsher. According to a report from KARE11, a 31-year-old Hopkins man got caught doing the latter – yet with an important distinction: He purportedly had a one-year-old in his lap who he as letting steer the vehicle.
When police responded, they discovered the man and the one-year-old in the vehicle. Neither was using a seatbelt. Also discovered at the scene: An open bottle of tequila. The man had bloodshot eyes, said the tequila belonged to someone else, and admitted to driving around the block when officers told him the child needed to be in a car seat.
Authorities also asked the man how much he’d had to drink that day, to which he responded, “I’m not even circumference to do that.” Ultimately he was charged with both DWI and child endangerment.
It’s not the man’s first DWI issue. He previously had his driving privileges taken away after allegedly driving drunk in January.
Drunk Driving with a Child in the Car – Extra Penalties
Driving drunk with a minor under the age of 16 – or a minor who is more than 36 months younger than the offender – can result in a charge of child endangerment. When it comes to driving drunk with a minor in the vehicle, penalties are as follows, according to the Brainerd Dispatch’s Ask a Trooper:
• First offense with BAC level under 0.16 w/ a minor in vehicle: $1,000 fine and/or 90 days in jail.
• First offense with BAC level over 0.16 w/ a minor in vehicle: $3,000 fine and/or vehicle forfeiture, with one year in jail.
Beyond first offenses, the penalties are obviously even stricter. If you’ve been caught allegedly driving intoxicated with a minor in the vehicle, contact the offices of Joel Heilgiman today – as he can help you get through this very serious predicament.