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What punishments are possible in a child endangerment DUI?

We read recently of a Clarksville woman facing a DUI charge after an accident at Dunlop Lane and Lynnwood Circle. She was not only charged with driving under the influence, but also with reckless endangerment, police said.

Inside her Chevy Equinox SUV were three children: a 3-year-old boy and 18-month-old twin girls. Law enforcement officials said they found a bag of marijuana in the vehicle and that the 23-year-old driver’s breath smelled of alcohol.

She apparently told an officer that she had smoked marijuana and had a vodka drink earlier that day.

If she’s found guilty of DUI and reckless endangerment, what are the possible punishments she would face? According to Tennessee law, the punishments could be severe.

Child endangerment – DUI with a passenger under 18 years of age – can be a Class D felony if a child suffers a serious injury. That can mean 2 to 12 years in jail.

If the incident results in the death of a child, the crime is a Class B felony, which can mean 8 to 30 years behind bars.

Sentencing depends on factors that include a person’s criminal record.  

If a DUI is a person’s first, the punishment for this alone can be serious, including from 48 hours in jail all the way up to a year in jail. A person can have their driver’s license revoked for a year, be subject to a fine of up to $1,500, and mandated installation of an ignition interlock device (the offender pays for installation and monthly maintenance).

Add it all up and a DUI with a reckless endangerment charge can be a life-changing event. Discuss circumstances and legal options with a Tennessee defense attorney experienced in these complex matters.

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