According to reports out of North Fulton County, a driver has recently been arrested for driving under the influence. The reason the incident made local news, is that he was accused of DUI in Fulton County with both of his children riding in the backseat of his vehicle.
As a Fulton County DUI Lawyer, I will outline the law behind child endangerment in today's post. Most people who do not focus on DUI Law in the state of Georgia are unaware of the actual meaning of the law as well as the potential penalties if found guilty or convicted of the offense.
DUI Child Endangerment in Fulton County
DUI Child Endangerment in Fulton County is defined in O.C.G.A. §40-6-391 - otherwise known as the Georgia DUI Law in the Office Georgia Code. The part of the law that focuses on child endangerment is:
A person who violates this Code section while transporting in a motor vehicle a child under the age of 14 years is guilty of the separate offense of endangering a child by driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The offense of endangering a child by driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs shall not be merged with the offense of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs for the purposes of prosecution and sentencing. An offender who is convicted of a violation of this subsection shall be punished in accordance with the provisions of subsection (d) of Code Section 16-12-1, relating to the offense of contributing to the delinquency, unruliness, or deprivation of a child.
The legal result is that for each child that is in a vehicle where a driver has been charged with driving under the influence, there is a subsequent charge of child endangerment. However, most people are unaware that for each DUI child endangerment charge, it legally counts as another DUI charge.
So in this story above, the driver is pulled over by police for some minor traffic violation. The police have reason to believe that the driver in question might be operating the motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
The DUI investigation results in the driver's arrest for DUI. The two children that are in his backseat are now also contributing to his charges. He is now facing two DUI child endangerment charges on top of the DUI. Legally, the driver is now facing the equivalent of three different DUI charges - all resulting from one incident.
DUI cases involving child endangerment are handled very seriously in Fulton County. The state of Georgia has some of the strictest DUI laws in the country, and judges are even more serious about DUI when children are involved.
If you or a loved one has been wrongfully accused or arrested for DUI, contact our offices now. We can help you regardless of the circumstances of your case.