Thomas Carroll Blauvelt

Drunk driving with a minor in the car

If the police have reasonable suspicion of drunk driving, they may have grounds to stop you and perform alcohol testing. If your blood alcohol concentration is 0.08% or more, you may be charged with drunk driving. 

If this happens and you have a minor, a passenger under 17, in the car, your case may be more complicated because, besides facing a drunk driving charge, you may be charged with a disorderly persons offense

Here is what to know:

Additional penalties

If you are convicted of drunk driving while you had a minor in the car, you may be charged with a disorderly persons offense. Thus, in addition to your drunk driving penalties, you may go to jail for up to six months and pay up to $1,000 in fines. Your driver’s license may also be suspended for not more than six months, and you may need to perform community service for five days.

You may lose your parental rights

Some cases involving a parent or guardian drunk driving with a minor in the car can be charged under Endangering Welfare of Children. If a drunk driving case shows a child is “neglected,” the Department of Children and Families (DCF) may be involved. Accordingly, one may lose their parental rights. 

Further, if a parent has custodial rights after a divorce or separation, the other parent may use such a case to revoke their rights. 

What should you do? 

Defending your drunk driving charge is integral to avoiding all these consequences. Obtain more information about your case to know the best way to fight the charge.

Failing a breathalyzer test with a minor in the car can be stressful. But you can defend yourself and, in turn, protect your parental rights and record. 


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