Kids’ and DUI’s….their drivers pose biggest risk

I recently saw a study done about children and DUI related deaths. The study looked at a number of DUI related deaths involving children and isolated who the DUI Driver was. In many of the cases approximately 1800 out of 2400 cases the drunk driver involved in the child’s death was the very driver of the vehicle the child was in. So what does this tell us..

Unfortunately it tells us that obviously the chances of a child’s death increase when somebody is impaired and decides to drive a vehicle with a child inside. In fact it is more likely to happen than another driver in another vehicle responsible for the death. The article I read about the study talked about how different state’s are trying to combat this problem by increasing the penalties for DUI cases involving children in the same vehicle.

Washington State was one of the State’s mentioned in the article. A few years back the State legislature adding some additional penalties and fines to drivers convicted of DUI with a child under 16 in the vehicle. Currently there are three additional penalties a driver faces if convicted of a DUI with a child under 16 in the vehicle.

First the driver faces an additional 24 hours in jail. So if the mandatory minimum sentence is 1 day in jail for a first offense DUI under 0.15 alcohol level then they will also have to do an additional day. If the mandatory minimum sentence is for 2 days than then face an additionally day as well.

Second the fine increases by $1000. So right now for a first offense under 0.15 alcohol level the fine is roughly $940.50. The fine for a first offense over 0.15 is roughly $1200. So tack on an extra $1000 if a driver is convicted of DUI in Washington State with a child under 16 in the car.

Lastly the driver faces an additional 6 months of ignition interlock. A first offense DUI carries a 1 year ignition interlock requirement. However if the driver refused the breath test and is convicted of a DUI refusal and they want to drive during their suspension period than they have to get an IID for 2 years. So potentially a driver convicted of a DUI refusal would have the IID for 2 1/2 years.

About the author: Matthew Leyba is a DUI lawyer in Seattle. He is rated a perfect 10 out of 10 by and has been repeatedly named a Rising Star in the area of DUI Defense by both the Super Lawyers Magazine, and the Seattle Met Magazine. An honor less than 2.5% of all Attorneys receive in their particular practice area.