Woman Charged with DUI Had 5 Kids in Her Car
A woman has recently been charged with operating her vehicle while intoxicated after causing a traffic accident. She is also being charged with child neglect as she had 5 kids in her backseat at the time of the accident. Her breath test showed that she had a BAC .08 which is right at the legal limit. She reportedly also confessed to smoking marijuana.
DUI with a child passenger
In Florida, the law makes it illegal to operate your vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. However, the law allows for extended penalties when parents operate their vehicles while under the influence of drugs or alcohol and there are children in the vehicle at the time of the arrest.
In order to qualify under the statute, a prosecutor must establish that a defendant was in actual physical control of the car at the time they were pulled over. This is easy enough to establish simply when the defendant was behind the wheel at the time of their arrest.
For a simple DUI, the maximum jail term is 6 months in jail. However, for a DUI in which there are minors in the vehicle, the maximum jail term is 9 months. In other words, having a minor in the vehicle qualifies the defendant for enhanced penalties that are more onerous than those of a simple DUI.
Defenses to DUI with children in the car
In a case like this, the prosecution must be able to establish that the defendant was at or above the legal limit. Police say that the defendant was driving her vehicle erratically and eventually got into a one-car accident. However, breathalyzer tests have a range of error that can be as high as .02%. That means that the breathalyzer test may not be enough to convict the defendant because it was right at the legal limit.
On the other hand, this particular defendant allegedly admitted to smoking marijuana. It’s also true that she caused an accident while behind the wheel and endangered her children. In Florida, the police could charge her individually for each child she had in the car at the time of the accident. In other words, she could be facing 5 counts of DUI with a child in the vehicle.
The law doesn’t go easy on those who place the lives of their children in danger. But the fact that she was right at the legal limit will work to her benefit. It will make it harder for prosecutors to establish that she was intoxicated at the time of the accident. She did, however, admit to smoking marijuana which prosecutors will definitely use to make the DUI charges stick. However, a breathalyzer test that’s right at the legal limit does not necessarily indicate that the defendant was drunk. Her actual BAC could have been .06 within the range of error, which is not illegal.
Talk to an Orlando DUI Attorney Today
FL DUI Group represents the interests of Orlando residents who are charged with various DUI-related crimes. Call our Florida DUI defense lawyers today to schedule an appointment and we can begin discussing your options immediately.