2018 Child Endangerment Report

Repeat Child Endangerment DUI/DWI Statutes

In 1999, MADD released its Higher Risk Driver Program to the nation. This program provided a science-based approach to dealing with higher risk drivers, which include those drivers who have been previously convicted of DUI/DWI, high-BAC drivers and drivers who drive on a license suspended as a result of a DUI/DWI offense. These higher risk drivers have an increased risk of being involved in an alcohol-related crash or being arrested again for DUI/DWI. In an effort to address this problem, MADD advocated that states adopt legislation setting the illegal BAC for adult drivers who have previously been convicted of DUI/DWI at .05 percent per se. This lower limit would apply to these offenders for a period of five years from the date of conviction and would require them to provide a breath test if requested by an officer following any legal traffic stop. Adult drivers who repeatedly drink and drive with children in their vehicle present a clear and present danger to the health and welfare of these children and place these children at a higher risk of being involved in an alcohol-related crash. In line with its current Higher Risk Driver Program, MADD advocates that states consider establishing a .05 percent illegal per se BAC for drivers over the age of 21 who are transporting children under the age of 16 and who have been previously convicted of DUI/DWI or an alcohol-related child endangerment offense. Suggested wording for such a statute is as follows: “It shall be unlawful for any person over the age of 21 who has previously been convicted of DUI/DWI or any child endangerment statute related to operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or other drugs to drive or operate a motor vehicle while transporting a child under the age of 16 years while said person has a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .05 percent or higher.” Conditions of Bail/Bond Judges setting bail conditions for defendants charged with DUI/DWI offenses where children were passengers in the defendant’s vehicle at the time of the offense should consider a condition that no children under the age of 16 will be transported by the defendant in a vehicle unless an alcohol ignition interlock device is installed on the vehicle by the defendant. Recommendations in Civil Cases Related to Child Custody and Visitation • There should be a mandatory provision in every separation agreement and divorce decree involving minor children that prohibits drunk driving, or driving under the influence of other drugs, by either parent when they are transporting their minor children.


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