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Penalties for a DWI with a child in the car are severe

As a parent, you take your children with you almost everywhere you go: to and from the school bus, the grocery store, play dates and every errand.

We have explained in previous blog posts that you can find yourself facing drunk driving charges after just a couple of drinks with a blood alcohol content under 0.08 percent or even when you have not been drinking at all. As you might expect, if you have your children in the car with you when a police officer arrests you for drunk driving, the consequences are serious indeed.

The following information is important for you and other Missouri parents to know about DWI charges and minors in the vehicle.

As our site explains, the penalties for allegedly driving drunk with your child in the car may include the following:

  • Additional charges of child endangerment, which may be a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances
  • Possible loss of your visitation or custody rights if you are a single parent
  • Fines, jail time and/or community service

You may have had a glass of wine during lunch with a friend, then got pulled over on your way home with your baby in the car seat. Although you did not drink very much, and you waited until you were sure the alcohol was out of your system before driving, the officer might smell it on your breath and believe he or she has probable cause to arrest you. Or, you could fail a field sobriety test while sober, since these tests can be difficult for many to pass.

No matter the situation, authorities from the state of Missouri take drunk driving accusations seriously, especially if there was a child in the vehicle. It is important that you realize you have the right to defend yourself, your freedom and your reputation.

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Travis Noble is a graduate of the National College for DUI Defense at Harvard University, and he lectures at seminars nationwide on DWI/DUI topics. He is the lawyer whom other lawyers consult to defend their DWI clients. Most importantly, he has a track record of successfully defending some of the toughest DWI cases in Missouri and beyond.

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