DWI With a Child Passenger
Drinking and Driving With a Young Passenger Defense in Houston: Brazoria, Ft. Bend, Galveston, Harris & Montgomery Counties
Driving while intoxicated with a child passenger in the state of Texas should be considered a very serious offense that requires a comprehensive legal strategy. Even if the incident does not involve injury, damage or a traffic infraction, law enforcement officers and prosecutors tend to focus on DWI with a minor in the car as a felony offense.
Driving With a Child While Drunk in Texas
The basics of this offense always come down to drinking and driving with a minor, but there are several factors to consider:
- First, the passenger must be under the age of 15 at the time of the incident. When law enforcement officials in Texas suspect a situation of driving while intoxicated with a child, they will invariably look for an arrest.
- Second, drunk driving must be proven with a scientific test. The breath intoxication tests that were so prevalent in the 20th century faced many legal challenges over the years, and thus Chapter 724 of the Texas Transportation Code was amended in 2009 to allow law enforcement officers to obtain a mandatory DWI blood sample without a warrant if certain conditions are met.
- Third, DWI with a juvenile passenger is sometimes conflated with other factors such as open container laws in Texas.
Penalties for DWI With Child Riders
The penalties in these cases can be severe. The minimum sentence calls for six months in a Texas correctional institution. A number of factors can enhance the offense to the disadvantage of defendants. These factors include:
- The blood alcohol content (BAC)
- The criminal background of the alleged drunk driver
- Injuries or damaged caused
Even with their first drunk driving offense, defendants could spend 24 months in jail and be ordered to pay a $10,000 fine.
A Drinking and Driving With a Child Lawyer in Houston, TX Can Help With Your Defense
A skilled criminal defense attorney can raise a number of legal defenses for the benefit of clients who have been charged with drunk driving with a young passenger. What is important for the accused to realize is that this is a very serious charge in Texas, one that requires adequate counsel and a careful defense strategy.
For help with your case, contact Houston DWI attorney Greg Tsioros at (832) 752-5972