Is a DUI offense different if you are driving children?

by Phil Hache

Question:  Is a DUI offense different if you are driving children?  I was stopped for a DUI in Reseda, CA on my way back from a friends house.  It wasn’t late, but I did have a couple drinks which I told the officer.  The police officer got me out of the car and left my kids in there.  He then had me do some tests which I think I did good on.  He then asked me to blow into a little machine.  I asked if I had to and he said no.  So he arrested me.  My wife came to get the kids and then I was arrested.  I then did a blood test and they kept me in jail for a while before releasing me.  I have a court date for the DUI in Van Nuys, CA.  So is this a different type of DUI because there were kids in the car.

Answer:  The DUI itself won’t be any different.  The difference is that you can be charged with an enhancement to the DUI if any of the kids were kids under the age of 14 in the car at the time you were pulled over for a DUI. The penalty for which can be severe, including mandatory jail time pursuant to VC 23572.  The amount of jail time based on this enhancement would depend on whether you have any previous DUI priorable convictions in the last 10 years.

Keep in mind that in order for there to be enhancement penalty, there has to be a conviction on the underlying DUI charge.  Give me a call at (818) 336-1384to discuss your case in more detail.  Whether or not any of your kids were under 14 at the time of arrest, you should have an experienced DUI attorney represent you in the Court and DMV hearings.  Your DUI criminal and dmv hearings will both be out of Van Nuys.  I handle DUI defense in Van Nuys Court and Van Nuys DMV all the time with good results.  I know the Court, Judges, Prosecutors and Hearing Officers in Van Nuys well.

In the meantime, check out:  Reseda DUI Defense information