How can a DUI impact your child custody arrangement?
Divorce can be stressful when it involves disputes over child custody. Although relaxing and enjoying the company of supportive friends and family is advisable, even a friendly dinner can pose problems if it involves alcohol consumption that increases your blood alcohol level above the safe driving limit.
These are answers to questions you may have about child custody and DUIs.
Will I forfeit custody due to a first DUI?
In most states, including Colorado, a first-time DUI is a misdemeanor offense that could lead to the temporary suspension of your driver’s license, fines or even jail time. Although these circumstances are not enough to convince a judge that you are an unfit parent, they can make spending time with your child challenging.
What is the impact of multiple DUIs?
A judge may show leniency for a temporary lapse in judgment or consider unusual circumstances leading to one DUI conviction. Still, a second DUI can negatively impact your child custody case. A judge will likely consider two or more DUI convictions evidence of an irresponsible attitude, and your child’s other parent could attempt to prevent visitation with your child.
What are the consequences of a DUI while with your child in your car?
You may face child endangerment and abuse charges under Colorado law if you are guilty of a DUI while your child is in your car. Despite providing for most of your child’s needs, a judge will consider you unfit for custody and will likely require supervision of your visits with your child. You may also face a felony conviction with a mandatory prison sentence if your child sustains an injury.
A child’s well-being is the court’s primary concern when determining custody and visitation arrangements for parents following their divorce.