Most adults fully understand that it is not a good idea to drink and drive. Therefore, they do their best to wait a reasonable amount of time after drinking before getting behind the wheel of a car. The logic in this approach is sound, as the only thing that can lower a motorist’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) below the legal limit is time.However, despite many motorists’ best intentions, the arrest of individuals whose BAC is just slightly elevated above the legal limit happens every day in New Jersey. Being charged with an impaired driving offense is tough enough, as potential penalties can include fines, driver’s license suspension and jail time. However, being charged with impaired driving while transporting a minor passenger risks even greater consequences.
Facing the possibility of three distinct criminal charges
If you are arrested for impaired driving in New Jersey while transporting a minor passenger, you could potentially face penalties for three separate charges:
- Driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI)
- DWI/DUI with a minor passenger
- Endangering the welfare of a child
Any penalties that you may face as a result of the two aggravated charges will be tacked onto the penalties you’ll face as a result of the underlying impaired driving offense. Meaning, you could – potentially – be stuck serving jail time in three different increments, back-to-back, if you are convicted of all three offenses.As you can see, being charged with impaired driving while transporting a minor is not an inconsequential challenge. If you ever find yourself in this position after overestimating your sobriety, it’s smart to seek legal guidance immediately to begin building a strong defense.