San Bernardino County DUI lawyers know that when alcohol is involved, even a minor accident can lead to a major headache and serious legal trouble. For example, a recent article reports that a San Bernardino woman was driving earlier this month when she lost control of her vehicle and hit a fence pole. She was not injured and caused no traffic blockage, but her 9 year old daughter was also in the car and suffering injury to her face. The driver was arrested on suspicion of DUI, but that is not where her charges end. Because she had a minor in the vehicle, she will also be charged with child endangerment.
In California if you have a young child in the car and drive with a BAC of .08%, you are considered putting that child in unnecessary danger. This means that, if you are charged for DUI, you will also be charged with a child endangerment offense. Having a minor in the vehicle will lead to additional penalties as it is referred to as an aggravating factor. In addition, the driver could also face penalties for causing DUI with injury if the child was seriously hurt.
Though no diagnosis was given, it is likely that the child will make a full recovery. It is unfortunate that this accident happened at all, but it is a reminder of the seriousness of DUI offenses. If she is convicted of both charges, the driver will face 6 months of jail time, one year of license suspension, $1,000 in fines and more. Plus, a child endangerment conviction can hurt her in any child custody or adoption issues. No one wants to hurt anyone, but especially a child. These types of cases require an extra touch because juries are no likely to feel sympathetic to a driver who harms a child.