While California takes any DUI very seriously, the courts take DUIs where there are minors in the vehicle even more seriously. Not only will a person face all of the penalties of a typical DUI, but they may also face serious charges of child endangerment. The prosecutor can charge the case two separate ways: add a “DUI with a Minor” sentence enhancement or a separate charge of child endangerment. Worse, the incident will be reported to child protective services, who will conduct their own investigation. They have the power to remove a child from a person’s custody, which is a possibility in a DUI incident.
Hometown Station reports on a Santa Clarita woman facing child cruelty charges after an alleged DUI crash. On Friday evening at about 8:15 p.m., rescue workers received a call regarding a traffic accident that had occurred at McBean Parkway and Arroyo Park Drive in Valencia.
One of the vehicles that had been involved in the crash struck a tree in the center divider of the roadway. One child along with two other adults were transported to the hospital. One of the adults was suffering from serious injuries.
Later, Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s deputies arrested Jessica Martin on suspicion of DUI. Martin was driving the vehicle that the child had been in. They suspect that the woman was driving under the influence. In addition to DUI charges, Martin was charged with felony cruelty to a child likely to result in great bodily injury and/or death. Martin has a bail set of $200,000.