DWI with a Child Passenger

DWI with a Child Passenger

Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) in Texas can have severe consequences including imprisonment, financial penalties, and other unfavorable outcomes. Charges and convictions of DWI with a minor present in the vehicle can result in severe penalties and repercussions.

In Texas, depending on the specific circumstances, a DWI with a child passenger can lead to additional charges of child endangerment. Such charges can significantly impact your parental rights and legal standing.

Facing a DWI charge is serious. It is essential to get help right away. A DWI lawyer from the Texas Criminal Defense Group can provide the skilled assistance you need. They possess the expertise necessary to navigate such cases effectively.

DUI or DWI with a Minor in the Vehicle

According to Section 49.045 of the Texas Penal Code, an individual commits the offense of DWI with a child passenger when they operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs and have a passenger under the age of 15 in the vehicle.

For the purpose of this law, intoxication is defined as having a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08% or higher, or being impaired to the extent that normal mental or physical abilities are compromised due to the consumption of alcohol or other substances.

It is important to be aware of DWI (operating under the influence) charges. You can even be charged if you have a minor in the car, even if no one was injured. This includes the child in the vehicle.

DWI With a Minor Passenger & Child Endangerment

Operating while intoxicated with a minor present is considered child endangerment. It does not matter if any harm was done to the child.

Section 22.041(c) of the Texas Penal Code states that child endangerment is an offense. It applies to any conduct which endangers the life, physical well-being, or mental health of a child under 15. This can happen intentionally, knowingly, recklessly, or negligently, through action or inaction.

It is essential to recognize that driving while intoxicated with a minor in the vehicle is illegal. It falls under both DWI laws and child endangerment laws. These laws exist to protect the child from death, bodily harm, or impairment.

License Revocation

The ALR hearing is separate from criminal proceedings. It is a way for the state of Texas to request suspension of your license. This happens if you have either refused or failed a blood or breath test.

It is important to remember that you have 15 days after you receive the suspension notice to ask for a hearing. This applies for your first or any subsequent DWI offense.

If you do not submit a hearing request within the specified time, you forfeit your right to contest the suspension. This leads to an automatic suspension of your license.


In Texas, if you are convicted of DWI with a child passenger, probation may be a potential option. Opting for probation can result in a reduction of the mandatory jail time.

If your objective is to secure probation, the most effective approach is to enlist the assistance of a skilled DWI lawyer. Lawyers can effectively represent your case in court. They can present strong arguments why you should receive leniency and probation.

Child Custody Issues

The Texas Department of Family Services (TDFS) may investigate your situation. If they do, there is a chance that your child could be removed from your care. It’s important to note that a TDFS investigation is distinct from the criminal proceedings, and it is advisable to seek legal advice from an attorney who is experienced in dealing with these types of investigations.

Penalties for DWI with a Minor Passenger in Texas

Driving under the influence with a child passenger is considered a state jail felony, carrying the following penalties:

  • A maximum fine of $10,000
  • A state jail sentence ranging from 180 days to two years
  • Mandatory participation in DWI education classes
  • Up to 1,000 hours of Community Service
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device on your vehicle.Installation of an ignition interlock device on your vehicle
  • Your driver’s license may be suspended for a maximum period of 180 days.
  • Annual surcharge fees ranging between $1,000 and $2,000 over a three-year period to maintain your driver’s license

In addition, there are collateral consequences that may arise, including but not limited to:

  • Loss of voting privileges
  • Not eligible for certain government assistance programs
  • Prohibition from possessing or owning firearms
  • Potential loss of child visitation and custody rights
  • Difficulty finding employment in specific professions.

Arrested? Don’t Plea, Call Me!

If you are facing DWI with a minor criminal charges, it is highly recommended that you seek the assistance of an experienced criminal defense lawyer. A hired criminal defense lawyer can provide you with essential legal advice, guidance, and representation throughout the legal process.

As an experienced criminal defense attorney we can review the facts of your criminal case, investigate the charges against you. And develop a strong legal defense strategy tailored to your specific situation. As well as negotiate with the prosecution on your behalf and advocate for your rights and interests in court.

In addition, we can provide you with information about the potential indecent exposure consequences of a conviction. Including the possibility of jail time, fines, and other penalties. And work to minimize the impact of the charges on your life and future.

Overall, the criminal law justice system can be complex and scary. Having an experienced criminal defense lawyer can significantly improve the outcome of your case. Your lawyer can help you comprehend the legal process, outline your choices, and provide advice and support. They can also help you review any evidence gathered against you, prepare witness statements, and investigate any mitigating circumstances.