DUI Survival Guide - OWI Child Endangerment
If charged with a DUI with someone younger than 16 in the vehicle, you will face a more serious drunk driving charge.
This means greater consequences to your driver's license and potential jail time.
The charge has the same elements as a normal drunk driving, but if someone in your car is under 16, then the charge is elevated. This would mean anyone from a baby to a teenager.
As a former prosecutor, I can tell you that a prosecutor will take this type of elevated charge even more seriously than a standard drunk driving. Generally on a sliding scale, the older the age of the children, the better, but even 15 years and 364 days old, the offense would be elevated.
The penalties if convicted will include up to one year in jail, fines of up to $1,000, driver's license suspension, and more. A second offense Michigan OWI child endangerment within seven years of the first offense will leave you facing up to 5 years in jail, fines of as much as $5,000, revocation of your driver's license, potential community service and probation, and more.
A client charged OWI Child Endangerment would be proactive like any other client, but we certainly will address the additional issue of the child. Assuming the driver is a parent or guardian of the person under 16, we are going to double down on alcohol testing, counseling and potentially seek out some additional resources.
It's easy to feel like a bad parent or you don't love your child for getting a DUI with them in your vehicle, but if you and the child are both physically OK, then it is something to learn and grow from, and be better moving forward. We cannot change the past, but we do control the future.
Former NYC & Michigan Prosecutor