Many things can have impacts on the legal situation of a person who is accused of drunk driving here in Texas. One is if they are accused of having a child in their car at the time of the alleged drunk driving. Such an allegation could lead to a person facing a special type of DWI charge. This is the charge of DWI with a child passenger.
This charge can carry more severe penalties with it upon conviction than a standard DWI charge.
Take fines for instance. The maximum fine for a standard first-offense DWI is $2,000. For a DWI with a child passenger offense, the maximum fine jumps all the way up to $10,000.
Being convicted on the offense of DWI with a child passenger can also expose a person to a state jail sentence of up to two years. In comparison, the max sentence for a standard first-offense DWI is 180 days in jail.
What types of passengers qualify as a “child passenger” for the sake of this offense? Any passenger under the age of 15.
So, being accused of having driven drunk with a passenger under 15 in their car can be an especially serious type of DWI allegation. When facing such an allegation and the potential consequences it could carry, what one’s defense ends up being like can matter to an extreme degree. So, aggressive defense representation is something a person may want to promptly seek out when such accusations are leveled against them here in Texas.
Source: Texas Department of Transportation, “Driving While Intoxicated (DWI),” Accessed Feb. 8, 2017