Quite a few people who eventually get arrested for and charged with driving under the influence (DUI) in Colorado thought that they could handle their alcohol. Many people overestimate their own driving prowess and underestimate the impact of alcohol on their abilities.

The combination of these mistakes can easily result in someone causing a crash that hurts them, passengers in their vehicle and people in a separate car.

Whether you caused a crash or got stopped by police for suspected impaired driving, you could face additional consequences if your children were in the car with you.

How Colorado penalizes DUIs with minors present

In some states, the presence of children in a vehicle will result in increased DUI penalties. Some states refer to such a situation as an aggravated DUI that will carry higher consequences. While the presence of a child in the vehicle is an aggravating factor for a pending Colorado DUI case, it won’t necessarily result in more serious DUI charges.

Instead, it will result in secondary child abuse charges. Under Colorado law, prosecutors can charge you with a misdemeanor for child abuse because your child was present in a vehicle during a DUI. If your child suffers an injury as a result of alleged impaired driving, you could face felony child abuse charges and the involvement of Child Protective Services in your family life in addition to DUI charges.

Defending against the DUI charges can reduce the likelihood of child abuse charges or other consequences if you got stopped while your kid was in the car with you.