Preventing Substance Impaired Driving and Child Endangerment

• Parents lacking the financial resources to seek relief in the civil court system. Child Endangerment Laws and Statutes Child endangerment is a term used to address a group of laws that create a separate offense or enhance an existing penalty for an offender who endangers a minor. Child endangerment is any action that might place a minor in jeopardy of physical, moral, or mental well-being. Child endangerment statutes fall into the following categories: • Enhanced penalties: Refers to penalties that are added to the penalties for a DUI/DWI law violation. • Separate offenses: Refers to an offense for DUI/DWI with a minor in the vehicle that is separate from the DUI/DWI laws. • Aggravating circumstances: Refers to laws that allow the fact that a child was in the vehicle to be used by the judge/ jury in sentencing as an aggravating factor, but not mandating a specific enhanced penalty. Within each state, it is the legislature that decides how child endangerment statutes are applied. States with child endangerment laws vary widely in provisions and enforcement. Additionally, the general public seems to lack awareness that such statutes exist. For individuals, the situation is even more complicated because families with child endangerment issues are often already coping with the legal ramifications of separation, divorce, and visitation/custody issues. After a court has accepted custody arrangements, concerned parents and


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