If you are arrested for drunk driving, some charges are more serious than others. As we reported in our blog of January 17, 2013 (Drug Use Charged in Collision with Motorcycle) an aggravated DUI charge can result if you are driving under the influence with a minor passenger. Arizona law specifically provides for enhanced penalties when there is a child under the age of 15 in your vehicle.
An example was reported last weekend in Phoenix involving an incident at Sky Harbor Airport. A worker noticed a woman enter the parking area, snapping off the entrance gate with her car. He notified police, and was then able to talk the woman into handing over her keys as she was about to exit the lot. The incident was caught on a surveillance video. Police say the woman was staggering and smelled like alcohol. They also say her 11-year old child was a passenger in the back seat. She was arrested and now faces a drunk driving charge. We expect this to be an aggravated DUI charge under A.R.S. 28-1383, a class 6 felony.
In addition to the more serious classification of the charge, driving with a minor passenger subjects you to more severe penalties. These include a mandatory minimum jail sentence. The length of the sentence will depend, at least in part, upon the level of intoxication. If your blood alcohol level is 0.15 or greater, known as driving under the extreme influence of intoxicating liquor, the sentence will be even longer.
The consequences of drunk and drugged driving are substantial, even in the case of a first offense. When you complicate the matter by having a child passenger in your vehicle, those consequences become even more serious. In addition to mandatory jail time, they include:
- License suspension for three years.
- Installation of ignition interlock device upon.
- Alcohol counseling or treatment program, including the costs.
- Supervised probation.
- A felony criminal record.
If you are facing a felony DUI charge, there are possible defenses. But you need an experienced Phoenix DUI lawyer at your side every step of the way to insure that your rights are protected.
Law Offices of David A. Black
40 North Central Avenue #1400
Phoenix, AZ 85004