DUI with a Child in the Car

When being charged, understanding the implications of getting a DUI with a child in the car is crucial. In Colorado, a case like this won’t only lead to DUI charges but can lead to child abuse charges.

Percentages and Age.

Driving under the influence in Colorado means operating a vehicle with a BAC of 0.08% or higher or while substantially impaired by drugs and or alcohol. Also, Colorado law defines child abuse as causing injury to a child’s life or health or exposing a child to an unreasonable risk of injury. If the child is under 16 and remains unharmed, it is considered a misdemeanor. If the child is injured or dies due to criminal negligence during the incident, the charge becomes a class three felony or a class two felony if recklessness is involved.


Penalties for DUI offenses vary depending on if you were convicted before. A first-time DUI conviction may result in minor jail time, fines, license revocation, community service, and substance abuse education. The more you are charged the harsher the consequences are and the longer they last. 

Similarly, penalties for child abuse stemming from a DUI incident vary also. If the child is unharmed, the penalties include minor jail time and fines. However, if the child is injured or dies due to the incident, the penalties escalate to prison time, mandatory parole, and large fines. These can also affect, custody, and visitation rights—and firearm ownership. 

Defending Yourself.

Defending yourself is crucial to challenging certain elements of the DUI charge, such as unreliable chemical test results or lack of probable cause when stopped. Demonstrating that the individual in the car was over 16 years old could also be part of your defense strategy. 

Hiring Experienced Help

Hiring experienced help will help you greatly through the process and bring you the best possible results. With many years of experience at Shipp Law, your needs will be met and your process carried out smoothly. DO NOT hesitate to contact us now at (970) 927-2255 or visit our website.