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Drunk driving charges exacerbated if a child is in the car

Think about the last time you and your family went out to dinner. Maybe you had a drink or two with your meal, but you didn't go overboard. When you finished your meal, you all piled back in the car and began driving home. Then, imagine that you saw flashing lights in your rearview mirror. You pulled over, and the police officer said you committed a minor traffic violation. Then he asked if you had been drinking. You told him you had a few drinks at dinner, and he suspected DUI. Then he saw your children in the backseat, and suddenly child endangerment came into play. As one Maryland woman recently found out, this situation can be extremely frightening for a parent.

Last week, a Waldorf woman was arrested by police for drunk driving. Unfortunately, her 4-year-old daughter was in the car when she was pulled over. Now, charges of child endangerment and child neglect are pending against her. The report did not say what her blood alcohol level was or why she was pulled over in the first place. She was being held at the Calvert County Detention Center.

Few parents in Annapolis or elsewhere in Maryland would intentionally put their children in danger. In fact, most parents would do anything to protect their children from harm. Sometimes, however, situations can be misinterpreted.

While we don't know all of the details of this particular case, we do know that a mother is facing very serious charges. Child endangerment charges can potentially result in a child being removed from a parent's custody, so it is important that anyone facing such charges get legal advice immediately.

Source: The Baynet, "Woman Charged with DUI and Child Neglect," March 25, 2013

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