Whether planning a family trip to Kalamazoo, Michigan’s Air Zoo or taking a weekend to enjoy boating on Lake Michigan, being responsible for the safety of any vehicle passenger is of the utmost importance, especially children. Once an adult starts a vehicle’s engine, he or she is legally bound to provide the safest environment for a child in the car, including securing seat belts, using child safety seats and remaining sober behind the wheel. Because of this, Michigan DUI child endangerment laws seek to reflect the impact a drunk driver can have on a child’s safety and future.
Michigan DUI child endangerment laws provide a level of safety assurance to passengers under the age of 16. According to Michigan DUI child endangerment laws, anyone who drives while impaired or intoxicated with a child under the age of 16 in the vehicle is guilty of child endangerment. This means that in addition to any DUI- or OWI-related charges and penalties, the adult will be facing increased fines, court costs, community service and/or a mandatory jail sentence. For each DUI/OWI offense, the adult’s consequences increase in severity, accruing higher fines, longer terms of imprisonment, increased community service hours and more. If a driver is between 16-20 years old, these penalties will also increase per the state’s “zero tolerance” policy toward underage drinkers.
Michigan is a state that is known for family-friendly travel destinations and seasons filled with fun for all ages. Keeping safe and sober is a responsibility everyone shares for the safety of other drivers on the roads, as well as any other child or adult passengers. Michigan DUI child endangerment laws ensure severe consequences for any driver who chooses put the safety of children at risk by drinking and driving.