DWI With Minor in the Vehicle Leads to Felony Charges


LONG ISLAND, NEW YORK - According to Glenn Wilburn of MyFoxNY.com, a 41 year old man was arrested on May 24, 2013 by the Suffolk County Police for driving drunk with his 6 year old daughter in the car. He was driving a pickup truck on East Main Street in Huntington when he hit the rear of a Ford SUV which then struck a Toyota SUV. His 6 year old daughter was in the back of the vehicle in a booster seat. The daughter was released to her mother and child protective services were notified. The driver was charged with Aggravated Driving while Intoxicated with a passenger 15 years old or younger, Driving While Intoxicated and Endangering the Welfare of a Child.

The current Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) limit is .08%. However, it should be noted that a person can be arrested even if their BAC is below .08% if the officer believes them to be intoxicated. Factors taken into consideration include red eyes, slurred speech, bad driving and the smell of alcohol. In the alternative, if a person’s BAC is extremely high (higher than .18) they will be charged with aggravated driving while intoxicated and face stricter penalties. Additionally, under Leandra’s Law, a person may be charged with a felony if they drive while intoxicated and minor children are present. If a person in convicted of a DWI more than once within a 10 year time period, they will be charged with a felony and will face more severe penalties.

A conviction of a DWI charge can result in license suspension, incarceration, fines, and a criminal record. As of August 2010, New York State passed a law which requires each person convicted of DWI to have an ignition interlock device installed on their vehicle. Additionally, their license will note an “ignition interlock” restriction. The ignition interlock is a breathalyzer that prevents the vehicle from starting when the BAC is .25% or greater.