Endangering a Child and DUI Cases

A Roswell mother was recently involved in an accident that endangered the life of her child after driving head-on into another vehicle. The woman was driving under the influence and texting while her 3-year-old child sat in the back seat of the car. The woman’s car subsequently collided with another vehicle near Atlanta Street and Jones Drive.

The woman suffered a head injury due to the crash and was taken to a nearby medical facility for treatment. The woman’s daughter was fortunately not injured, while the female driver received severe injuries. The mother of the woman involved in the accident reported that the crash was so forceful that the vehicle came off of its frame. The woman who caused the accident is currently out on bond after being charged with driving under the influence and endangering the life of a child.

This accident is but one of many involving parents who have endangered children by driving under the influence. In July, a woman was arrested after being found asleep in her car and breastfeeding, while in April a father was arrested in Roswell for driving under the influence and child endangerment after speeding to a Chuck E. Cheese. It is very important for motorists in Georgia to understand some of the basic details about DUI child endangerment charges.

What Constitutes a Charge

Charges for driving under the influence are often significant in nature, but motorists in Georgia who are charged with DUI child endangerment face particularly severe penalties. Georgia law provides that  a driver charged with driving under the influence while a minor under the age of fourteen is also in the vehicle will face a charge of DUI child endangerment. Furthermore, the crime of DUI child endangerment does not “merge” with the underlying offense of driving under the influence is an individual is convicted of both driving under the influence child endangerment driving under the influence.

These offenses do not merge even if an individual is charged with the same offense. These two charges together will result in an individual being treated of having committed two driving under the influence offenses in a five year period.  

Consequences of Such a Charge

Driving under the influence with an additional charge of driving under the influence child endangerment can have particularly significant consequences for individuals who have jobs concerning the care of children like bus drivers, coaches, daycare employees, and teachers. If an individual’s job requires driving, this type of conviction could result in the loss of that job.

Available Defenses to the Charge

In order to fight a DUI or DUI child endangerment charge, individuals frequently rely on one of several defenses including:

  • Challenging the legality of the initial stop,
  • Arguing over the accuracy of the breath or blood test,
  • Arguing over the legality of evidence, or
  • Proving that the child in question was over the age of fourteen.

Contact a Seasoned Attorney

If you or a loved one faces DUI child endangerment charges, consider retaining the services of a seasoned Georgia DUI attorney like the legal counsel at Yeargan & Kert, LLC.