According to reports out of Johns Creek, a man has been arrested for DUI in Georgia with both of his children riding in the backseat of his vehicle.
He was pulled over after police received a car about a suspicious vehicle. Officers reported that they immediately suspected that the driver was under the influence, and they asked him to get out of the car so that he could participate in a DUI investigation. He then attempted to fight with officers. As a result of this incident, the man is facing some very serious charges such as DUI and obstruction in Georgia.
It is also worth mentioning that the man is also facing child endangerment charges because his children were in the backseat of the vehicle. As a Georgia DUI Lawyer, I will outline the law behind child endangerment in today's post. The law behind this offense is actually quite complicated so I will also give a hypothetical example.
DUI Child Endangerment in Georgia
DUI Child Endangerment in Georgia is defined in O.C.G.A. §40-6-391 - otherwise known as the DUI Statute in the state of Georgia. The part of the law that focuses on child endangerment is as follows:
A person who violates this Code section while transporting in a motor vehicle a child under the age of 14 years is guilty of the separate offense of endangering a child by driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The offense of endangering a child by driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs shall not be merged with the offense of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs for the purposes of prosecution and sentencing. An offender who is convicted of a violation of this subsection shall be punished in accordance with the provisions of subsection (d) of Code Section 16-12-1, relating to the offense of contributing to the delinquency, unruliness, or deprivation of a child.
The legal result is that for each child that is in a vehicle where a driver has been charged with driving under the influence, there is a subsequent charge of child endangerment. However, most people are unaware that for each DUI child endangerment charge, it legally counts as another DUI charge.
Let's look at an example. Subject A is driving an SUV with three children in the vehicle. All three children are under the age of fourteen. Officers claim that Subject A commits the offense of failure to maintain lane in Georgia. Subject A is then pulled over and subsequently investigated for DUI. After the investigation is over, Subject A is arrested for driving under the influence and three separated charges of DUI Child Endangerment. This means that Subject A is now facing four different DUI charges - all resulting from the same incident.
While a DUI case involving DUI Child Endangerment should be handled seriously - the same Georgia DUI Defenses may apply as if it was a straight-forward DUI case.
We understand that just because there has been an arrest for DUI does not mean that the accused driver is guilty of actually driving under the influence. If you or a loved one has been arrested, contact us now.