According to the Michigan State Police, a female driver from Mancelona was pulled over recently in Kalkaska County for travelling at 101 miles per hour in a 55 mph zone. However, as if the severe speeding wasn’t enough of an issue for the officers, it was what they discovered after the car was pulled over that made matters worse.
Once the officers had pulled her over on County Road 571, they started talking to the 32-year-old woman and quickly determined that she was intoxicated. This likely means that she will be accused of operating under the influence of alcohol. However, to complicate matters even more, there were apparently two children in the vehicle with her.
Officers at the scene arrested the woman and transported her to the Kalkaska Memorial Health Center, where she was required to submit to a blood draw to determine her BAC (blood alcohol concentration). Once that was completed, she was taken to the Kalkaska County jail. Officers present say that she didn’t make a scene, and that the arrest happened without incident.
As for the children, police say they were placed in the care of their step-father. Sergeant David Johnson of the MSP Houghton Lake Post told the media that in his opinion, a driver isn’t fully in control of their vehicle at that speed, especially if they were intoxicated. The result, he pointed out, could have been a tragedy for the family members of both the children and the woman.
Although the woman hasn’t been charged yet, it is very likely that she will have to face a Child Endangerment charge In Michigan OWI Child Endangerment is when someone drives drunk with one or more children in their car. Because driving drunk is dangerous, and often results in accidents that cause severe injuries and even death, driving under the influence of alcohol with a child under the age of 16 in the car is considered to be OWI child endangerment in Michigan.
In addition to possible criminal charges, Children’s Protective Services may start an investigation into the family as well. CPS workers may become involved after allegations that an intoxicated parent drove with their children, or someone else’s children, in the car. Also, if a parent allowed their child to ride with a person whom they knew was drunk, which is referred to as Failure to Protect, CPS is likely to open an investigation.
Under Michigan law, the penalties for Child Endangerment will depend on how many times a person has been convicted in the past. A first offense child endangerment is a misdemeanor punishable by:
- a fine of $200 to $1,000 and:
- 1) imprisonment for 5 days to 1 year,
- 2) 30 to 90 days of community service, or
- 3) both imprisonment and community service.
A first offense child endangerment conviction can also lead to vehicle immobilization. A second offense Child Endangerment which takes place within 7 years of the first one, or a third Child Endangerment offense in a lifetime is a felony punishable by:
- a fine of $500 to $5,000 and:
- 1) imprisonment for 1 year to 5 years, or
- 2) 30 days to 1 year in jail, probation, and 60 to 180 days of community service.
A conviction of felony child endangerment will lead to mandatory vehicle immobilization.
Child Endangerment is a very serious charge. If you or a loved one have been accused of driving drunk with a child in your vehicle, you are going to need expert help from attorneys with decades of experience. The skilled attorneys at the Kronzek Firm have helped countless parents restore their families in the wake of difficult circumstances. We can help you too. Call us at 800-576-6035. Someone is available 24/7 to discuss your case.