Illinois DUI Child Endangerment Might Get Tougher Penalties

May 7th, 2014 at 11:49 am

Getting a DUI in Illinois and Child Endangerment (with children in the car as passengers) is likely to get increased penalities

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Will Illinois DUI Penalties for Children in the Car Increase?

after the spate of incidents involving children being killed while in the cars of alleged drunk drivers. The Chicago Tribune recently wrote and article which touched upon the subject. Here are some excerpts:

 

Sixty-five percent of children killed in crashes involving an alcohol-impaired driver ride with the impaired driver, according to a decadelong study published Monday. Overall, about 1 in 5 child passenger deaths in the U.S. involve an alcohol-impaired driver, the study authors report.

Dr. Kyran Quinlan, lead author of the analysis and a pediatrician at Erie Family Health Center in Chicago, said many people think impaired-driving deaths among children usually occur when an impaired driver strikes the car in which the children are riding.

The study results represent “a pattern that’s different from what most people might expect,” Quinlan said.

The article, published in Pediatrics, the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, states, “Alcohol-impaired driving remains a substantial threat to the safety of child passengers in the United States.”

The authors suggest expanded use of sobriety checkpoints, tougher enforcement of DUI laws and seat belt laws — especially at night — wider use of ignition locks and even increasing the price of alcohol to reduce the problem.

Illinois statistics for DUI with children in the car dying are lower than other states, reports the Tribune:

Illinois, which recorded 42 of those deaths during that time, holds one of the lower rates of child passengers killed in crashes involving impaired drivers, the study found. South Dakota had the highest rate. New Jersey, New York and Massachusetts registered the lowest rates.

Of those 2,344 deaths, 1,515 of the children were riding with an impaired driver, according to the study, which analyzed data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In addition, those impaired drivers were more likely to be male, convicted of DUI in the past three years and be without a valid driver’s license, the authors said.

Most of the drivers in those cashes survived, the study reported, a trait suggesting that a certain number of the children killed might have survived had they been properly restrained.

On the encouraging side, the number of children killed riding with an alcohol-impaired driver decreased by 41 percent during the study period. That trend mirrored substantial reductions in child passenger deaths, alcohol-impaired driving deaths and total motor vehicle deaths during that time, the report stated.

If one gets a DUI with children in the vehicle, they are often also charged with Child Endangerment. DCFS also gets involved. Here at Ramsell and Associates LLC we handle many such cases annually.

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