A Houston man has been arrested after having taken police on a high speed chase while four children were in the car with him. According to reports from the Houston Police Department, a man had been doing donuts and driving erratically in a parking lot with the children in the car. The driver, upon seeing the police, attempted to evade them. However, he did not get very far; his driving put him back in the same lot the chase began. The driver was taken into custody and the children were released to relatives. It is not clear if alcohol may have played a factor in the man’s driving behavior. Being a parent and being behind the wheel are two things that carry many responsibilities. When a parent is in the car with minor children, they are unlikely to engage in behavior that can be construed as neglectful or endangering them. It would seem to be common sense for every driver should drive responsibly by obeying traffic signals going the speed limit and not under the influence of alcohol or other substances. When common sense is ignored, however, and there is endangerment of children or worse an accident involving injuries or death, it can be a very serious matter. In the state of Texas, every child that is riding in a motor vehicle should be in a proper child restraint from birth to 8 years of age. Failure to secure your child in an appropriate child car seat in Texas can result in a fine of up to $25 for the first offense and up to $250 for subsequent offenses. The guidelines are: Birth – 1 year old and up to 35 pounds:
- Use a rear-facing seat suitable for your child’s height and weight.
1 year old–4 years old and 20 pounds–40 pounds:
- Use a forward-facing seat for as long as is recommended by the manufacturer.
4 years old–8 years old and over 40 pounds:
- Use a booster seat.
Driving while intoxicated or DWI with children in a vehicle is an even more serious matter. DUI charges with children present in a car can result in very serious criminal and civil penalties. If you are charged with DWI with a minor or child passenger in your car, the repercussions can be even more detrimental. This is considered a form of child endangerment or abuse and could possibly result in the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services removing the child from your custody either temporarily or permanently. Additional penalties that a person might face if convicted of this felony offense may include the inability to receive certain types of government assistance, loss of an ability to vote or hold public office, loss of the right to own or possess a gun, ineligibility to pursue certain professions, and/or a possible criminal record. If your child has been involved in an accident that was caused by the irresponsible actions of driver who was operating a vehicle recklessly, give our offices a call. You may be entitled to compensation for any medical expenses, ongoing rehabilitative costs and other expenses. When you call our offices we will match you with one of our lawyers who will go over the details of your case and explain several courses of action. We can then get your case going and help you see that justice is served. We are here to help and have years of experience in the Texas courts successfully representing our clients. Your initial consultation with our offices is confidential and free. Call today.