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DUI with a Child Passenger

Under Section 316.193(4), Florida Statutes, any person convicted of DUI “who at the time of the offense was accompanied in the vehicle by a person under the age of 18 years” is subject to enhanced penalties.

The enhanced penalties for DUI with a minor child as a passenger include a higher fine, a higher statutory maximum jail term, and a requirement that an ignition interlock device must be installed for six (6) months.

Judges and prosecutors in Tampa, Hillsborough County, FL, treat DUI cases very seriously if a minor child passenger under 18 years old was found in the vehicle at the time of the DUI offense.

Depending on the circumstances, the driver might also face felony child abuse or neglect charges. A child protective investigator (CPI) or the Department of Children and Families (DCF) might also get involved.

Attorney for DUI with a Child Passenger in Florida

Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a serious accusation, especially when law enforcement alleges that a child was in the vehicle at the time of the offense.

Contact us to learn more about how this allegation can affect every aspect of the case, including the required enhanced penalties that the court must impose unless you avoid the DUI conviction.

We can also explain whether the prosecutor can bring additional child abuse or neglect charges in these cases.

Contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at the Sammis Law Firm to discuss your DUI cases in Tampa, Hillsborough County, Florida, involving DUI with a minor child in the vehicle.

Click here to read more about our Recent Case Results in DUI Cases.

Call 813-250-0500 today.

Enhanced Penalties for a DUI with a Minor Passenger

Under Florida Statute Section 316.193, the Court must impose the following enhanced penalties if a minor child under the age of 18 years old was present in the vehicle at the time the person arrested was driving or in actual physical control of the vehicle:

  1. By a fine of:
  2. By imprisonment in jail for:
    • Not more than nine (9) months for a first conviction.
    • Not more than twelve (12) months for a second conviction.
  3. If a minor was in the vehicle, the ignition interlock device is required for six (6) months for a first violation of this provision or two years for a second violation.

These same enhanced penalties apply if the BAC level is over .15.

Additional Resources

State Laws for Impaired or Drunk Driving with a Child – Visit the National Conference of State Legislatures website for an article entitled “State Law Chart; Impaired Driving with a Child in the Vehicle.” The list includes the enhanced penalties for drunken drivers carrying a passenger under age 18 in Florida under Section 316.193(4), F.S., including a term of imprisonment of up to 9 months and a fine ranging from $1,000 to $2,000 and a requirement to install the ignition interlock device (IID) for up to 6 months on all vehicles owned, leased, or routinely operated. Those who violate this law a second time face a prison term of up to 12 months and a fine from $2,000 to $4,000 with an ignition interlock device on all vehicles owned, leased, or routinely operated for at least two years.

Laws Prohibiting Child Endangerment Drunk Driving – Visit the Mothers Against Drunk Driving website to find the laws prohibiting DUI child endangerment in 47 states across the United States. The article explains why every child deserves a sober driver and the dangers of drunk driving for children.

This article was last updated on Wednesday, April 12, 2023.