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Minor Child Injury from an Accident Resulting from DUI

Posted on in Drunk Driving Accidents

DUI with minor presentDriving under the influence carries strict penalties when pulled over, no matter whether you have passengers in the car or if it is a first-time offense. According to Cyber Drive Illinois, a publication of Illinois&s attorney general’s office, if a driver fails chemical testing when pulled over for driving under the influence, he will automatically have his driving privileges suspended for six months. In addition to the suspension, the driver faces the possibility of re-invocation after one month, depending on the specifics of the incident.

If a person is pulled over and fails chemical testing within five years after a previous offense, his driving privileges will be suspended for one full year, without the possibility of lessening the punishment at any point during that year. If a driver refuses chemical testing, he could have his license suspended for one year if it is a first-time offense and for up to three years if it is not the first-time offense. These laws may sound harsh, but are important. Deterring drunk drivers makes the roads safer for everyone.

Laws are not only in place to protect other drivers on the road—they are in place to protect passengers who are riding with the drunk driver as well. If a person is convicted of drinking and driving with a minor in the car, for example, the law is especially strict. According to Mother’s Against Drunk Driving (MADD), 20 percent of motor vehicle deaths among children aged 14 and younger in 2012 were those involved in alcohol-related crashes. More than 50 percent of these 239 kids were killed in accidents in which the driver of the vehicle had a blood alcohol content above the legal limit.

In an effort to deter drivers from getting behind the wheel when intoxicated with children in the car, “46 states and the District of Columbia have laws enhancing penalties for those who drive drunk with a child passenger in a vehicle,” reports MADD. If a minor you know was in the car with a drunk driver at the time of an accident, his or her guardian should speak with a personal injury accident attorney right away.

In Illinois, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, any person aged 21 and older who is convicted of a DUI when a child under the age of 16 was in the vehicle is subject to half a year in prison, an additional non-negotiable fine of $1,000 and 25 days community service. If a person is convicted of driving under the influence with a minor in the car for second time (even if no bodily harm is done), the offense is considered a Class 4 felony in Illinois.

If you have been injured by a drunk driver—whether or not children were in the vehicle at the time of the incident—you may be eligible for compensation. Do not go through it alone. Contact a Waukegan motor vehicle accident attorney today.

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