Under Pennsylvania law, driving under the influence is punished more severely if a minor is in the vehicle at the time of the incident.
What is DUI with a minor in the vehicle?
If you look at the Pennsylvania DUI statute, you won’t see a specific charge that applies to a case where a driver is accused of driving under the influence while a child is in the car. However, under 75 Pa. C.S. 3803(b)(5), counts of DUI are given a higher grading if a minor is in the car at the time of the offense. For a first offense, the DUI is graded as a first-degree misdemeanor. After the first offense, a person who is charged with a minor passenger DUI will have the offense graded as a third-degree felony.
Who is considered to be a child for the charge of DUI with a minor in the car?
Although anyone under the age of 21 is considered to be a minor for alcohol-related charges, the aggravated charge for DUI with a minor in the car only applies to minors who are under 18 years old.
What is the punishment for a child-passenger DUI?
A person who is convicted of DUI with a child in the car will face an 18 month driver’s license suspension.
For a first offense, the driver will have to pay a mandatory $1,000.00 fine and do 100 hours of community service. For a second offense of DUI with a child passenger, the punishment is a minimum of one to six months in jail and a mandatory $2,500.00 fine. For every child-passenger DUI after that, the driver faces a mandatory six months to two years of incarceration.
Can a driver enter ARD if they’ve been charged with a child-passenger DUI?
People who are charged with DUI with a passenger who is under the age of 14 is not eligible to participate in the ARD diversionary program.