2018 Child Endangerment Report

Violation of the referenced provision in the separation agreement or divorce decree can be the subject of a contempt or modification action against the offending parent, and the sanctions the court may consider upon a finding of contempt may include, but are not limited to the following: • Ordering an alcohol/drug assessment and treatment as indicated by the assessment. If so ordered, a copy of the certificate of attendance and completion of the assessment and treatment program should be provided to the other parent, • Incarceration for violation of the terms of the divorce decree, • Suspension of driver’s license, • Requiring the offending parent to have an alcohol ignition interlock device installed on their vehicle and requiring that they may transport the children only in such vehicle, • Change of primary custody of the children, • Limitations on visitations including requiring supervised visitation or requiring a third party to transport the children for the purposes of visitation if the offending parent is the non-custodial parent, • Termination of parental rights, • Award of attorney fees to the parent bringing the contempt action, and • If the offending parent is required to have an alcohol ignition interlock device installed on their vehicle, copies of the monthly monitoring reports of the alcohol ignition interlock device should be provided to the other parent. An affirmative action is defined as a fact or set of facts other than those alleged by the plaintiff or prosecutor which, if proven by the defendant, defeats or mitigates the legal consequences of the defendant’s otherwise unlawful conduct. It should be an affirmative defense to a child custody contempt action when one parent refuses visitation privileges when the other parent appears to be under the influence of alcohol or other drugs at the time of the visitation. Obtaining a neutral or unbiased third-party witness to corroborate the testimony of the parent withholding visitation privileges from the other parent should be strongly encouraged. 2017 update: The 2017 panel maintains this recommendation, as well as asks for training for family law attorneys and judges on the potential interventions available to them to protect children in custody agreements. Funding for National Roadside Surveys The 2017 panel strongly recommends funding allocated through federal legislation to help with additional research, including roadside surveys. Previous roadside surveys have provided significant and valuable data on the prevalence of drunk and drugged driving and the impact of interventions. Lessons have been learned from previous surveys that will help inform future studies. Future studies should collect age of passenger information and drug use data.


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