There is an intersection between the child endangerment and DUI laws in Ohio. Child endangerment is an act or omission that exposes a child to psychological, emotional or physical abuse. Child abuse based on the offense of child endangerment is normally a misdemeanor, but endangerment that results in mental illness or serious physical illness or injury is a felony. See abused child, neglected child. Child endangerment and DUI laws are implicated when a person drives drunk with a child in the car.
Ohio Revised Code 2919.22(C)(1) addresses the child endangerment and DUI laws as follows,
(C) (1) No person shall operate a vehicle, streetcar, or trackless trolley within this state in violation of division (A) of section 4511.19 of the Revised Code when one or more children under eighteen years of age are in the vehicle, streetcar, or trackless trolley. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a person may be convicted at the same trial or proceeding of a violation of this division and a violation of division (A) of section 4511.19 of the Revised Code that constitutes the basis of the charge of the violation of this division. For purposes of sections 4511.191 to 4511.197 of the Revised Code and all related provisions of law, a person arrested for a violation of this division shall be considered to be under arrest for operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, a drug of abuse, or a combination of them or for operating a vehicle with a prohibited concentration of alcohol, a controlled substance, or a metabolite of a controlled substance in the whole blood, blood serum or plasma, breath, or urine.
(2) As used in division (C)(1) of this section:
(a) "Controlled substance" has the same meaning as in section 3719.01 of the Revised Code.
(b) "Vehicle," "streetcar," and "trackless trolley" have the same meanings as in section 4511.01 of the Revised Code.
Based on the law you can be charged with both child endangerment and DUI in the same case so long as the government can prove that you drove in violation of the DUI law (O.R.C. 4511.19) while someone under 18 years of age was in your car. Child endangerment charges can range from a first degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to 180 days in jail to a second degree felony, punishable up to 8 years prison. Should you be arrested for DUI with children in the vehicle then you will be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor. If the child was seriously injured and this is your second child endangerment charge then you will face a fifth-degree felony. If the child was seriously injured and this is your second DUI with children in the car then you will be charged with a fourth degree felony. Keep in mind that these charges listed are ONLY for the child endangerment offenses and do not include the mandatory penalties available to judges under Ohio's DUI/OVI statutes. Child endangerment and DUI are triggers for rigorous enforcement.
Given the harsh penalties and societal hatred of the crimes of child endangerment and DUI, you need an attorney who will aggressively take on the underlying DUI charge. If the government is unable to prove a violation of the DUI law, then the child endangering case is also unsustainable. Learn more about how we can defend your child endangerment and DUI charges below.
OVI Attorney Charles M. Rowland II dedicates his practice to defending the accused drunk driver in the Miami Valley and throughout Ohio. He has the credentials and the experience to win your case and has made himself Dayton’s choice for drunk driving defense. Contact Charles Rowland by phone at (937) 318-1384 or toll-free at 1-888-ROWLAND (888-769-5263). If you need assistance after hours, call the 24/7 DUI Hotline at (937) 776-2671. You can have DaytonDUI at your fingertips by downloading the DaytonDUI Android App or have DaytonDUI sent directly to your mobile device by texting DaytonDUI (one word) to 50500. Follow DaytonDUI on Facebook, @DaytonDUI on Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr, Pheed and Pintrest or get RSS of the Ohio DUI blog. You can emailCharlesRowland@DaytonDUI.com or visit his office at 2190 Gateway Dr., Fairborn, Ohio 45324. “All I do is DUI defense.”
Ohio Child Endangerment and DUI information and other city-specific info at the following links: