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DWI with a Child Passenger in Texas

It’s against the law to drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs, including prescription drugs, in all 50 states and Texas is no exception. The offense of driving while intoxicated (DWI) is covered under Section 49.04 of the Texas Penal Code.

Sec. 49.04 states that a person commits the offense of driving while intoxicated when they operate a motor vehicle in a public place while intoxicated. To be “intoxicated” is to not have one’s normal mental or physical faculties due to the introduction of alcohol or a controlled substance, or the combination of the two.

But what if you drive while intoxicated on the Texas roadways and you happen to have a child in your vehicle? Are the penalties enhanced for having a child passenger? In a word, “Yes.” The penalties are enhanced when someone drives under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or both, and they have a child in their vehicle at the time of the offense.

When There is a Child in the Vehicle

In Texas, if you’re caught driving while intoxicated and the officer discovers that there is a child in your vehicle, you can face charges for child endangerment if there is a child under the age of 15 in your car while you’re intoxicated by drugs or alcohol. The penalties for DWI with a child passenger are:

  • A fine not to exceed $10,000
  • A term of incarceration for up to two years
  • Loss of driver’s license for up to 180 days

If you are caught driving while intoxicated with a child passenger, you will face DWI charges and charges for DWI with a child passenger. A first DWI offense is punishable by a fine not to exceed $2,000, up to 180 days in jail, and loss of your driver’s license for up to one year.

Next: Second DWI Penalties in Texas

Facing DWI charges? Contact our firm 24/7 to schedule a consultation with Attorney Peter Barrett. Call (214) 307-8667 today.

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