DWI with Child Passenger

First and second driving while intoxicated (DWI) offenses usually result in misdemeanor charges in Texas, but alleged drunk driving crimes can become felony offenses if alleged offenders had young passengers in their vehicles. When the vehicle being operated by an intoxicated person is occupied a passenger less than 15 years in age, the driver can be charged with the state jail felony offense of DWI with child passenger.

Convictions for these types of crimes can result in several very serious penalties for alleged offenders. In addition to possible imprisonment and fines, the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services could also attempt to remove the child from an alleged offender’s custody.

Attorney for DWI with Child Passenger Arrests in Conroe, TX

If you were arrested anywhere in the Montgomery County area for an alleged drunk driving offense involving a child passenger, it is in your best interest to exercise your right to remain silent until you have legal representation. Evans & Powell, PLLC aggressively defends clients accused of drinking and driving in Willis, Oak Ridge North, Patton Village, The Woodlands, Pinehurst, Shenandoah, and many surrounding areas of Montgomery County.

Sean Evans and Frank Powell are experienced criminal defense lawyers in Conroe who will fight to help you achieve the most favorable outcome to your case, including possibly getting your criminal charges reduced or dismissed. Call (936) 622-2000 to have our attorneys provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case during a free, confidential consultation.


Overview of DWI with Child Passenger Crimes in Montgomery County


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Texas DWI with Child Passenger Charges

Texas Penal Code § 49.045 establishes that a person commits DWI with child passenger if he or she is intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle in a public place and the vehicle he or she is operating is occupied by a passenger who is younger than 15 years of age. Whereas DWI is usually a misdemeanor offense or first or second arrests, DWI with child passenger is a state jail felony.

Under Texas Penal Code § 49.01(2), intoxicated is defined as a person either not having the normal use of mental or physical faculties by reason of the introduction of alcohol, a controlled substance, a drug, a dangerous drug, a combination of two or more of those substances, or any other substance into the body, or having an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more. An alcohol concentration is defined under Texas Penal Code § 49.01(1) as meaning the number of grams of alcohol per:

  • 210 liters of breath;
  • 100 milliliters of blood; or
  • 67 milliliters of urine.

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DWI with Child Passenger Penalties in Montgomery County

A child passenger is an aggravating factor in a DWI case that can lead to much more serious consequences than an alleged offender would otherwise face for a more typical drunk driving offense. Convictions can result in people being issued sentences that include any combination of the following punishments:

  • Fine of up to $10,000;
  • Up to two years in state jail;
  • Mandatory attendance and completion of DWI school;
  • Installation of ignition interlock device (IID) on all vehicles owned and/or operated by the alleged offender;
  • Up to 1,000 hours of community service;
  • Completion of alcohol or drug education course; and/or
  • Annual surcharge of $1,000 paid to the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) for three years.

People arrested for DWI with child passenger will also have their driver’s licenses suspended for up to 180 days. Alleged offenders only have 15 days to request Administrative License Revocation (ALR) Hearings to contest the suspension of their driver’s licenses.


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Texas Resources for DWI with Child Passenger Offenses

Child Endangerment Drunk Driving Laws | Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) — MADD is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with the mission to “end drunk driving, help fight drugged driving, support the victims of these violent crimes, and prevent underage drinking.” View MADD literature discussing states that impose additional penalties on motorists who allegedly drive drunk with child passengers. Texas is one of only seven states that make such crimes felony offenses.

The Council on Recovery — The Council on Recovery is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization whose mission is to keep our community healthy, productive and safe by providing services and information to all who may be adversely affected by alcohol, drugs, and related issues. Visit this website to learn more about the different services the organization provides, including counseling and treatment, community programs, and recovery meetings. You can also visit the Council’s blog and read recent news.


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Evans & Powell, PLLC | Conroe DWI with Child Passenger Defense Lawyer

Did you have a child passenger in your vehicle when you were arrested for allegedly drunk driving? You will want to contact Evans & Powell, PLLC as soon as possible for help protecting your rights and achieving the best possible resolution to your case that results in the fewest penalties.

Conroe criminal defense attorneys Sean Evans and Frank Powell represent individuals all over Montgomery County, including Splendora, Cut and Shoot, Porter Heights, Magnolia, Woodbranch, Panorama Village, and several other nearby areas. You can have our lawyers review your case and help you understand all of your legal options when you call (936) 622-2000 or complete an online contact form to receive a free initial consultation.


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