DUI With a Child Present

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DUI With a Child Present

Posted on in Driving Under the Influence

Fairfield County criminal defense attorneyMany children are similar to sponges in that they absorb everything around them. Have you noticed that your child repeats your language or behavior? This repetition is thought to be practicing behavior for children. They practice forming sentences or saying new words by verbally repeating your words. In the same way, they repeat behavior they see, such as exercising or spending time on electronics. Due to this and because children do not have a significant amount of leverage with the behavior of their parents, crimes such as DUI/OUI when children are present are punished more severely.

Risk of Injuries

When a child is under the age of 18, they are in the direct care of a parent or other guardian. It is the responsibility of that adult to ensure the safety of the child in question. The law specifically requires children under the age of 16 to be guarded safely, and anyone who violates this statute is subject to legal repercussions. Among other situations, the law explicitly states that it is illegal to:

  • Knowingly causes any child to be placed in such a situation of physical endangerment, or
  • Put a child in a situation where medical health or the morals are likely to be impaired.


Endangering the life of a child does not often go without severe punishments. Connecticut laws related to the risk of injuries are multifaceted and carry penalties unique to each aspect. In an OUI situation, prosecution often argues the defendant knowingly chose to put the life of the child at risk. Such a conviction is a Class C Felony, punishable by up to ten years in prison and a maximum fine of $10,000.

Operating Under the Influence

Additionally, driving drunk with a minor in the vehicle will have standard OUI consequences. Connecticut does not currently have a law that addresses these types of cases directly. Punishments include:

  • Required Ignition Interlock Device (IID) installation, and
  • License suspension.

If you or a loved one are facing charges for operating under the influence of drugs or alcohol with a child present in the vehicle, it is imperative that you speak directly with a skilled attorney. When the police have probably made it seem like the odds are stacked against you and Connecticut Department of Children and Families (DCF) are calling, what to do is not always immediately evident to the untrained eye. Having the outside perspective of someone who is qualified and experienced with situations such as yours can make a difference in your future and the outcome of your case. If you are interested in discussing your options with a Stamford, CT DUI attorney, contact the Law Offices of Daniel P. Weiner today at 203-348-5846 to schedule your free initial consultation.