While any DUI charge carries a heavy weight, penalties can increase dramatically if a child was in the car during the arrest. Arizona has strict laws regarding driving under the influence, and if a minor is present in your DUI case, you could face a mandatory fine, jail time, a revoked license and other harsh penalties for child endangerment.
Arizona DUI Laws
In Arizona, you can get charged with a DUI if your blood alcohol content is over .08%. However, drunk driving with a minor in the vehicle is an even more serious crime classified as an aggravated DUI, which is a felony offense. Usually, the driver in these cases immediately gets arrested and has their vehicle impounded.
An aggravated DUI with a child in the car carries the following potential penalties for first-time offenders.
- You must serve at least one day in jail and pay a minimum fine of $4,600.
- You will have your driver’s license revoked for a year.
- You must receive mandatory alcohol counseling.
- You will have an ignition interlock device installed in your car for two years after the aggravated DUI conviction.
These penalties will increase in severity if you have prior DUI or other criminal charges on your record.
What Is Child Endangerment?
ARS § 13-1201 defines endangerment as anything that puts someone else at risk of imminent death or physical injury. Depending on this crime’s severity and the specific circumstances involved, it can be either a misdemeanor or a felony, with penalties that can include fines, jail time, probation and community service, among other things.
Based on this standard of recklessness, an adult might endanger a minor under age 18 by leaving them unsupervised, failing to report an abusive situation or being under the influence of drugs or alcohol while taking care of a child.
The Consequences of Driving Under the Influence of Drugs and Alcohol
While child endangerment puts a minor in jeopardy, this offense could also impact your future by giving you a criminal record, which may make it harder for you to find a job. A suspended or revoked driver’s license will limit your ability to commute to work, possibly making you seem less reliable in the eyes of a hiring manager.
Having a DUI on your driving record makes you a high-risk driver, which can result in exponentially higher car insurance premiums. Other expenses associated with driving under the influence include court-ordered legal fees, medical bills and the costs of getting your driver’s license reinstated when you are finally clear to do so. In Arizona, these financial consequences might total thousands of dollars.
Have You Gotten Charged With a DUI?
Getting charged with a DUI or child endangerment can be the push you need to end your denial and break the cycle of substance abuse. Addiction is a chronic disease that requires professional treatment to manage your symptoms, avoid a relapse and live a happier life.
Canyon Crossing is a unique, women’s-only program in Prescott, Arizona. We offer a range of gender-specific strategies designed to heal the trauma, guilt and shame resulting from substance use. To verify your health insurance coverage or learn more about transitional living, outpatient recovery or long-term dual-diagnosis treatment in Arizona, please connect with us today.