Whenever a motor vehicle accident occurs, the police may investigate to determine whether alcohol or drugs have played a role in the crash. If alcohol or drugs are found or suspected to have played a role, a number of criminal charges may potentially be filed against the accused driver. If the driver is also found to have minor children in the vehicle, those DUI charges may be elevated, as seems to have been the case after an incident in Tennessee.
A woman was recently in a car accident. The accident happened at an intersection and police responded. When the police were checking out the scene to evaluate whether or not anyone was injured, they reportedly smelled marijuana in the vehicle. They then reportedly smelled alcohol on the woman's breath.
The woman said she smoked marijuana earlier in the day (in the morning) and had a drink that had vodka in it a bit less than two hours prior to the 7:12 p.m. accident. There were also three children in the vehicle at the time of the incident. The children were 18-month-old twins and a 3-year-old boy. Police contend she didn't pass a field sobriety test though the specifics were not reported. They reportedly took her to the hospital for evaluation and a blood test.
The woman faces DUI charges and also reckless endangerment (three counts, one for each child in the vehicle). In Tennessee, DUI charges are taken quite seriously, for obvious reasons. A DUI conviction can result in the loss of a driver's license, high fines and even jail time. In this case, the endangerment accusations provide an additional measure of concern. Defense counsel will need to carefully assess the entire arrest record to determine appropriate legal challenges while working to achieve a result that is in the best interests of the accused woman and her family.
Source: theleafchronicle.com, "Woman charged with DUI with 3 children in SUV", Stephanie Ingersole, Dec. 22, 2014