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Minor passengers can increase the severity of DUI charges


Anyone who has faced a DUI charge in Wisconsin understands how even a first offense can impact a person's life. From preparing a defense to appearing before a judge, the costs and stresses of getting through a DUI hearing can impose heavy burdens on the accused individual. If the person is convicted, he or she can lose important rights that influence what types of employment that person might be eligible to hold as well as other significant privileges.

For some DUI first time offenders the stresses of working through the offense can be even greater if others were put in harm's way due to their alleged actions. A 30-year-old Amery man was recently charged with the crime of DUI with a minor child in his vehicle after police caught him driving nearly 90 miles per hour in a 65 mile per hour zone. Because he had a 16-month-old child in his car his first time offense will be upgraded to a misdemeanor.

The laws that the state legislature has enacted to protect others on the roads can directly impact how a DUI suspect is charged if his or her alleged actions put others in the vehicle in harm's way. While thankfully no one was injured during the man's high speed drive, he will pay the consequences of his actions at a higher level since there was a child in his car.

He will likely face significant penalties if he is convicted and those penalties may exceed those he would have faced had there not be a child in his car at the time of his arrest. Should he choose to work with a DUI attorney to resolve this matter, he may discover that working with an expert in the field provides some level of comfort during an especially difficult and stressful time.

Source: CBS Minnesota, "Wis. Man Arrested For Alleged DUI With Child In Car," Feb. 23, 2014

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