Minnesota has enhanced penalties for motorists found driving under the influence with their children in the car. The DUI may result in a gross misdemeanor charge and state officials may also investigate a parent for negligence or child endangerment.
A first time DUI offense with children in the car may result in severe penalties. Depending on the motorist’s blood alcohol content level, a conviction may result in jail time, fines and a loss of driving privileges. The roadside breath test device, however, may not always display an accurate BAC reading, as reported by Forbes magazine.
Penalties for a first-time DUI with kids in the car
A first-offense conviction based on a BAC over 0.08 but less than 0.16 and with kids in the car may result in a punishment of one year in jail and a $3,000 fine. A motorist may also have his or her driver’s license suspended for 90 days.
A breath test result of more than 0.16 when children are in the vehicle may lead to a gross misdemeanor charge. The more severe charge can bring the same jail time and fine, but with a license suspension of up to one year.
The punishment for a first-offense DUI conviction is normally 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine, but children in the car account for the penalty enhancements. To reinstate driving privileges, a judge may order an individual to install an ignition interlock device on his or her vehicle.
Contesting a DUI charge
Having children in the vehicle at the time of an arrest may bring life-changing consequences. When state officials begin investigating parents for child endangerment, it could severely disrupt a family’s routines and normal comfort zones.
To counter a prosecutor’s evidence, a motorist may challenge his or her breath test results. Oftentimes, roadside testing devices require maintenance and calibration to prevent inaccurate readings. When a law enforcement official lacks training in using a roadside test device properly, an effective defense may prove that the reading misinterpreted the BAC.