Posted on: 25 November 2015Share
Have you ever driven after taking what you believed to be "a little" alcohol? Many people have done that and gotten away with it, but this doesn't mean it is okay. Driving under the influence of alcohol is never a good idea. However, it is even worse if your situation meets any of these conditions:
You Have a Child Passenger
The authorities can charge you with child endangerment if you are caught driving under the influence with a child passenger. Child endangerment may aggravate your driving under the influence charge (DUI), or it may be treated as a separate charge.
The definition of what constitutes a child in this context varies by state. For example, Illinois uses it to denote anybody below the age of 16 while California puts the limit at 14 years. Upon conviction, the sentences include anything from mandatory jail sentences to monetary fines to the tune of thousands of dollars. To prevent all such complications, don't drink and drive, even if it's just one drink.
You Don't Have a Driving License
Secondly, if you don't have a driving license, you should not even think about driving after tasting any alcohol. Driving without a license is illegal at any time. However, the lack of license is an aggravating factor if you are arrested and charged with a DUI. Some states even apply special terms, such as aggravated reckless driving, to this kind of driving.
The reasoning is that since you can disregard the legal requirement of driving without a license, you aren't above disregarding that of not driving while drunk. The consequences aren't pleasing. For example, a conviction almost guarantees you a prison sentence plus a suspension (of many years) of your driver's license.
You Have a Prior DUI Conviction
Lastly, you should never drink and drive if you have prior DUI convictions. The sentence for your first DUI conviction, especially if you did not cause any injury while intoxicated, will be less than what you will get for subsequent convictions. The number of prior convictions determines how serious your current penalty may be. The reasoning is that relatively weaker sentences cannot help you see the error of your ways. Therefore, the court will hand you a heavy penalty to punish you and help prevent future generations.
It cannot be stressed enough that driving while intoxicated is always a bad idea. However, be prepared for a serious legal battle if you were arrested for DUI and you also had the aggravating factors discussed above. Don't approach such a case without the involvement of an experienced DUI lawyer.
To learn more, visit a website like http://www.hartlawofficespc.net.