Getting a DUI With a Child in the Car: Is It a Felony?

getting a dui with a child in the car

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is illegal nationwide, carrying severe penalties like fines, jail time and suspended driving privileges. This irresponsible decision can have a ripple effect on other people in your family, particularly if you get a DUI with a child in your car. Not only are you endangering the child’s life, but you will also face even more serious consequences. 

Arizona DUI Laws

According to ARS § 28-1383 A 3 (a) & (b) of the Arizona Revised Statutes, driving drunk with a minor in the vehicle is a felony classified as an aggravated DUI. Usually, the driver gets arrested on the spot and has their car impounded. The authorities will hand the child over to a family member or child protective services. 

The penalties for an aggravated DUI in Arizona vary depending on your blood alcohol content at the time of arrest, but generally, punishments include:

  • Up to 45 days in jail
  • A suspended driver’s license
  • Fines and fees 
  • Up to five years of supervised or unsupervised probation
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device in your car
  • Community service
  • Substance abuse counseling
  • Eight points on your driving record

What Is Child Endangerment?

ARS § 13-1201 defines endangerment as any circumstance that puts another person at a substantial risk of imminent death or physical injury. Depending on this crime’s severity and the risk involved, it can be either a misdemeanor or a felony carrying fines and jail time. 

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 looking after a child. 

The Dangers of Driving Under the Influence

While child endangerment puts a minor in jeopardy, this offense could also impact your future because having a criminal record may make it harder for you to get hired or enroll in educational programs. Having your driver’s license suspended or revoked can impact your ability to travel to and from work, which might make you seem less reliable to a hiring manager.

Having a DUI on your driving record puts you in a high-risk category, which can also cause your car insurance company to raise your rates exponentially. Other hidden expenses of impaired driving 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 Recently Gotten Charged With a DUI?

While you may be in denial about the extent of your drug or alcohol problem, getting a DUI with a child in the car can serve as your wake-up call that it’s time to seek help. Addiction is a chronic disease requiring professional treatment to get your symptoms under control so you can learn to lead a healthy, well-balanced life. 

Canyon Crossing is a unique, women’s-only program in Prescott, Arizona. We offer a range of gender-specific strategies intended to help our clients learn to live gracefully without relying on addictive substances. 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.

Benefits of Residential AddictionTreatment

You cannot heal in the same environment that made you sick. This is the philosophy behind our residential addiction treatment program. At Canyon Crossing, women learn to live life on life’s terms while staying in a safe, substance-free setting. This gives our clients the space and peace needed for lasting recovery.
Our residential program combines high-accountability sober living arrangements with first-rate clinical care. While staying in our homes, clients participate in process groups, one-on-one counseling sessions, and hands-on learning opportunities. They also receive ongoing training; in these meetings, life skills like financial management and conflict resolution are imparted. All of this happens with 24/7 encouragement, guidance, and supervision from our clinical team.
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