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DUI with Child Passenger

Florida is infamous for having some of the harshest laws for driving under the influence (DUI) in the United States. The penalties for a DUI conviction can include expensive fines you are required to pay out of pocket, DUI courses, community service hours and even possible incarceration. However, the consequences for a DUI conviction are enhanced drastically if the court proves there is a child passenger in the vehicle at the time. 

Advocacy groups like Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) have pushed for additional DUI child endangerment penalties to deter people from driving drunk with a child in the car. Florida is one of those 46 states that has a specific child endangerment section. Prosecutors will aggressively seek maximum punishments in these cases, and judges can similarly come down hard on individuals who are facing such charges. 

If you or someone you know has been arrested for DUI with a child passenger, then it’s imperative you seek experienced legal representation.

Defense Lawyer for DUI with Kid in the Car in Palm Beach County, FL

Were you recently arrested for DUI in with a minor under the age of 18 in your vehicle? You should not wait any longer to seek experienced legal representation. Meltzer & Bell, P.A. is a group of reputable attorneys who have an extensive background in driving under the influence (DUI).

Fight your charges by securing trusted counsel with Meltzer & Bell, P.A.. The Fort Lauderdale DUI with minor in the vehicle attorneys at Meltzer & Bell, P.A. fully investigate these arrests and fight to defend clients in Broward County, Miami-Dade County, and Palm Beach County. Let us review your case during a free, confidential consultation by calling (561) 557-8686 right now.

Overview of DUI with a Child in FL  

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What Is the Penalty for DUI with a Child Passenger in FL?

The state of Florida has implemented harsh penalties for those convicted of DUI with a child passenger present to protect minors from a situation they have no control in. Florida Statute Section 316.193 lists the penalties for a child endangerment DUI conviction.

First Offense

  • Fine between $1,000 and $2,000;
  • Up to nine months in jail;
  • Up to 50 hours of community service;
  • License suspension for up to 6 months;
  • Vehicle impoundment for up to 10 days;
  • Required classes in DUI school; and
  • Mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device for up to 6 months. 

Second Offense

  • Fine between $2,000 and $4,000;
  • Up to 12 months in jail;
  • Up to 50 hours of community service;
  • License suspension for up to 12 months;
  • 30-day vehicle impoundment;
  • Attendance in DUI school; and
  • Mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device for up to 2 years. 

Third Offense

  • Up to five years in prison;
  • Fine up to $5,000;
  • Up to 50 hours of community service;
  • License suspension for up to 10 years;
  • Vehicle impoundment for up to 90 days;
  • Attendance in DUI school; and
  • Mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device for up to 2 years.

Before moving forward it’s important you understand your penalties can be enhanced even further depending on your record. If this is your second DUI conviction within the last five years, then you will be required to complete a mandatory imprisonment term of at least 10 days in jail. If it’s your third conviction within the last 10 years of your first or second conviction, then you will be court ordered to a mandatory imprisonment for at least 30 days.

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DUI with Minor Passenger and IID Requirement in FL

When a person is convicted of DUI with a child passenger, the court is obligated to order the defendant to install or purchase a portable alcohol monitoring device. There are two types of portable alcohol monitoring devices one is a portable breath test (PBT) and one is an ignition interlock device (IID). If the defendant doesn’t own a car, they will be court ordered to purchase an PBT. However, most offenders convicted of DUI own a vehicle and are instead court ordered to install an ignition interlock device (IID) on their car.

An ignition interlock device (IID) is essentially a breathalyzer attached to an engine. The purpose of the device is to stop the offender from driving drunk. To turn on the car, the person must blow into the breathalyzer device attached to the car. If the person has a BAC of .08 or higher, then the engine will be locked. The device will also not allow you to have someone else blow for you because it requires “rolling tests.” This is when the device beeps asking for another breath sample. If you don’t submit a breath sample, the car will turn on the horn, lights and wipers until you pull over. 

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DUI Driver’s License Suspension in Florida

It’s incredibly difficult to navigate Florida cities without a motor vehicle. Many Floridians use their vehicles to commute to work, perform household errands or pick up their children. Unfortunately, if you have been arrested for a DUI your license will be suspended after 10 days of your arrest. The suspension isn’t a criminal consequence, but instead an administrative one. 

In Florida, you have 10 days to demand a formal review hearing with the Bureau of Administrative Review (BAR) of the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV). Once that deadline is up, you will have missed your chance to contest your suspension. At the hearing, you and your representation can present reasons why the suspension isn’t necessary or why you would need a restricted license.

Some DUI offenders can receive a hardship license in the face of their suspension. The license allows them to drive during certain times of day to perform certain activities such as going to school or work. However, not everyone is eligible for a hardship license. Those who have done the following cannot qualify for a hardship license.

  • One DUI conviction with two or more prior refusal suspensions;
  • One refusal suspension with two or more prior DUI convictions;
  • Second offense more than five years after the first DUI conviction; or
  • Third DUI more than 10 years after second DUI conviction. 

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Additional Resources

Ashley’s Dream – Visit the official website for the Foundation of Ashely’s Dream, an organization who aims to do whatever possible to stop drunk driving. Access the site to learn more about how they promote awareness, provide resources and do whatever possible to prevent drivers from engaging in drunk driving. 

Florida DUI Laws – Visit the official website for the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) and find more information about DUI laws and penalties. Access the site to learn the criminal and administrative consequences if you drive drunk.

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DUI Defense Attorney for Child Endangerment Cases in West Palm Beach, FL

If you are facing charges related to DUI child endangerment after allegedly being intoxicated with a passenger under the age of 18 in your vehicle, it is critical for you to seek legal counsel as soon as possible. Meltzer & Bell, P.A. represents clients throughout South Florida, including West Palm Beach, Wellington, Royal Palm Beach, Riviera Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, Lake Worth, Jupiter, Greenacres, Delray Beach, Boynton Beach, Boca Raton, and more.

Our Palm Beach County DUI with minor in the vehicle attorneys have more than two decades of combined experience handling these kinds of charges. Call (561) 557-8686 today to let our firm review your case during a free consultation

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  • ...A long weekend vacation in Palm Beach resulted in the potential for serious consequences that could have set me back in unimaginative ways. M+B was a truly incredible legal advocate and was always accessible within minutes to answer questions and discuss the progress of the case within the system - truly remarkable. I could not have retained better legal representation in my case in Palm Beach County.

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  • I was facing hard prison time and punishment. [Larry] did everything to pull strings and get me into rehab. After meeting with many therapists I finally got one to diagnose me successfully with Bipolar. Thanks to Larry I have been sober since 6/19/09. My health is great and my family life is amazing. It's because he saw something in me and my family that I wasn't just an alcoholic there was something that told me it was something else.

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  • Mr. Steven Bell, Words cant explain how thankful I am for you and your firm. I was facing felony charges and even looking at doing 5 years in jail! Not only did you fight for me, you got my case dismissed and dropped. For that, I don't have words to say “thank you” you were always kind and believed in me. You looked for every opportunity and you won! Thank you for being my guardian angel in disguise and steering me in the right direction. You are forever my “too go guy” thank you soooo much!

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