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Posted on in DWI / DUI

Child Passenger Makes DWI Offense a FelonyThere are several aggravating factors in driving while intoxicated cases that can lead to harsher penalties if convicted. Child endangerment is one of the most serious factors because it involves your responsibility to protect the children in your vehicle. A DWI charge that is normally a misdemeanor becomes a felony when children are involved. Beyond criminal ramifications, your fitness as a parent will come into question. DWI with a child passenger is a serious offense that can disrupt your family if not successfully contested.

Arrest Standards

A passenger qualifies as a child in a DWI case if he or she is younger than 15. A child only needs to be present in the vehicle during your suspected DWI incident in order for a DWI with child passenger charge to be filed. If the child was injured during the incident, that may result in a separate charge of intoxication assault with serious bodily injury. When a child is involved in a DWI incident, Texas law states that the officer must take a blood or breath test to determine your blood alcohol content. DWI lawyers advise that you refuse the test because of the incriminating evidence it can provide. However, refusing the test may result in additional charges. An officer can legally compel you to submit to a test only if he or she first produces a warrant. A warrantless test is unconstitutional in most cases, and the result from the test may be dismissed in court.

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dwi and child endangerment, San Antonio criminal attorneyThe Texas Department of Transportation (TxDot) reports that every 20 minutes someone is either injured or killed in a motor vehicle accident involving driving while intoxicated (DWI). As impairment begins with the first drink and depends heavily on gender, body weight, number of drinks consumed and the amount of food ingested, some people may become legally intoxicated quite quickly.

Under Texas law, someone is legally intoxicated if a person reaches a blood or breath alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08. The state also reserves the right to prosecute for DWI for anyone who is visually impaired while driving under the influence of alcohol or illegal substances.

The state imposes fines, loss of driver's license, and jail time based on the number of offenses a driver has acquired. But, facing a DWI with a minor child as a passenger can be an even more sobering experience. Those arrested for DWI with a minor passenger can be facing the following:

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