Earlier this month, Jennifer Karkosky, 26, of Indiana was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence with eight, yes eight, children in her vehicle.
Karkosky’s 2000 GMC Jimmy had slid off of the road and partially down an embankment after she attempted to make a U-turn. Her vehicle was left in a 45 degree angle with the front end in the air.
Responding officers noticed the smell of alcohol on Karkosky’s breath and she told them that she had three beers earlier.
A breathalyzer later revealed Karkosky’s blood alcohol content to be 0.16 percent, twice the legal limit.
At the time of the incident Karkosky had eight children ranging in age from three to 12-years old. Karkosky told the officers that she was transporting home from swimming. The local fire department was called to the scene and confirmed that none of the children suffered injuries before releasing them to family members or the Department of Child Services.
Karkosky was charged with one count of operating a vehicle while intoxicated with a previous conviction, eight counts of neglect of a dependent child, and one count of driving on a suspended license.
While not the same as Indiana, California also treats DUI with children in the car very seriously. Not only is a person looking at the punishment under California’s DUI law, they are also looking at additional penalties under California Vehicle Code section 23572, also known as California’s DUI child endangerment enhancements.
Under California Vehicle Code section 23572, a first time DUI conviction where a minor under the age of 14 is in the car will bring an additional 48 hours in a county jail. A second time DUI conviction will bring an additional 10 days in jail. A third time will bring an additional 30 days in jail. A fourth will bring an additional 90 days. Furthermore, these penalties are to be served consecutively, not concurrently with the underlying DUI penalties.
The prosecutor need only prove that you were driving under the influence and that there was a minor child under the age of 14 in the car while you drove.