In Tennessee and many other states, drunk driving is considered more serious if the drunk driver was transporting a child passenger at the time. The Tennessee Legislature has thus provided greater consequences for this offense.
The penalties are a bit higher than for ordinary DUI if a child is in the car, even for a first offense. In addition to the minimum of 48 hours in jail, there is an additional minimum of 30 days in jail, along with a minimum fine of $1,000. The penalties go up if the child is injured or killed.
If your child passenger suffers a serious injury, you can be charged with a Class D felony. This could mean between two and 12 years in jail and a fine of up to $5,000.
If a child passenger should die as a result of your drunk driving, you could be charged with a Class B felony. A Class B felony carries a penalty of between eight and 30 years in jail and a fine of up to $25,000.
In either case, you are likely to face an extended period of driver’s license suspension or revocation, along with a host of other costs and expenses.
You need to defend yourself from a child endangerment DUI charge
If you have been charged with child endangerment DUI, you may be feeling frightened, angry or even guilty. Don’t let your emotions get in the way of defending yourself. The potential penalties are very serious and could affect you for the rest of your life.
You have the right to hire an experienced, effective defense attorney, and you should exercise that right. Call an experienced DUI defense attorney for an assessment of your case and your options for defense.