Question: I admit that I shouldn't have been driving. I understand the seriousness of driving a car if you are drunk. But I was out with my young daughter and we went to lunch and on the way home I got into a small accident with another car. It wasn't my fault and there was no major damage involved. I think the other driver was texting. The accident was on North Point Parkway.
But the Alpharetta cops came and smelled alcohol and arrested me for DUI. I asked if I could just drive home to Sandy Springs but he said no. It's my first DUI but since I had my 10-year-old daughter in the car I also was charged with child endangerment.
I read on the internet that if you have a child in the car and you are arrested for drunk driving that it counts as a second DUI. One DUI is bad enough, but two drunk driving charges could easily get me fired from my job.
I want to ask if a child endangerment charge is considered a second DUI.
S.D. in Sandy Springs
Answer: For driver's license purposes, a DUI with a child in the vehicle (child endangerment) is treated like a second DUI. And getting two DUIs within 5 years means that you cannot get a work permit. It causes a “hard” suspension of your license so you will not have a license or be permit-eligible for a certain amount of time.
To be clear, getting a DUI with a child in the car is treated as a second DUI for driver's license purposes but is not treated as a second DUI for purposes of criminal sentencing. So since this is your first DUI charge, you cannot be sentenced as if you have had two DUIs.
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