Tennessee mom receives DUI after driving with three kids in car

After driving in an intoxicated state with her three children in the car, a Tennessee mother was recently arrested on child endangerment charges.

Recently, a mother in Tennessee was charged with DUI and reckless endangerment after law enforcement officials caught her driving drunk with her three sleeping children in the back of the car, states WBBJ. The woman, who was allowed to go home after appearing in court and posting a $7,500 bond, told the judge that she did nothing wrong and that she was not guilty of the criminal charges she faced.

Child endangerment penalties in Tennessee

In Tennessee, according to the Department of Safety & Homeland Security, driving drunk with a passenger under the age of 18-years-old in the vehicle is considered child endangerment. If a child suffers from a serious injury, the driver will be charged with a class D felony, an offense that carries a jail sentence of two to 20 years.

If child death is involved, a drunk driver may be required to spend between eight and 30 years in prison and may also face license revocation penalties. However, the sentence a person is ordered to serve after receiving drunk driving charges for child endangerment depends on a number of different factors, including the person's past criminal history.

Other DUI offense consequences

Although driving drunk with a person under the age of 18 in the vehicle is an offense associated with serious penalties in Tennessee, so are the consequences a person faces for simply driving with a blood alcohol content level above the legal limit, which according to the Governors Highway Safety Association, is 0.08. However, the severity of the penalties a person faces after driving intoxicated depend on the number of prior DUI convictions on his or her record.

For example, the Tennessee DSHS states that a person who is arrested for drunk driving for the first time may be required to pay a fine of $350 to $1,500, participate in an alcohol and drug treatment program and may also have their license revoked for a period of one year. In comparison, a person charged with DUI for the second time may have to pay a fine of $600 to $3,500 and his or her license will be revoked for a period of two years, with the option of a restricted license becoming available after one year.

Contact an attorney

In addition to severe legal and financial penalties, those in Tennessee convicted of drinking and driving may also have a difficult time securing employment and find that their reputation within their local community is harmed. If you were recently arrested for driving intoxicated, speak with an attorney to understand what your legal rights are at this time.

Keywords: DUI, drunk driving, arrest