Some people just shouldn’t be allowed to have kids.A Nashville father admitted that he was drinking and using drugs while his daughter was in the back seat.According to Fox 17 Nashville, 45-year-old William Trotter was charged with allegedly driving under the influence on a suspended license while his 1-year-old was in the car. The man was spotted rolling through a flashing red light and failing to yield, with another car forced to stop to avoid an accident.
When an officer stopped Trotter, he noted there was a child in the back seat and that the man had an “obvious odor of an alcoholic beverage and showed multiple indicators of impairment.”
Trotter admitted to drinking and doing drugs and did not have a driver’s license since it had been previously suspended. The man was also in possession of a stolen handgun.
He was charged with child endangerment, DUI, theft, and driving on a suspended license.
According to DrivingLaws.com, having a child in a car during the time of a drunk driving arrest “significantly alters the charges and penalties of a DUI arrest.” The site refers readers to state laws for more specific information, but notes, “in general, the presence of a minor (typically considered someone under 16 for DUI purposes), may increase fines, time incarcerated, and may result in classification of the DUI as a felony (not a misdemeanor).”
The site further notes, “This effect is sometimes known as a DUI modification or aggravated DUI. A felony DUI also leaves a more serious mark on the convicted individual’s criminal record, which may disqualify them from some jobs, living spaces and much more.”
Further, the site explains, “Having children in the car also changes a judge or jury’s view of the defendant, thereby affecting prosecution and defense tactics, usually making plea bargaining more difficult.”
Unfortunately, there have been many cases of adults driving drunk with minors. In one recent news story posted on Facebook about a man arrested for driving drunk with his kids in the car, commenters were understandably outraged.
One person shared their own tragic story of losing a child to a drunk driver and offered some suggestions for how laws should be changed, writing: “I have a BIG problem with this whole scenario. I lost my own daughter Skylar due to a drunk and impaired driver. He needs to have his children taken away and placed with a family that loves and cares for them …unlike this man who has no regard for himself let alone his children and anyone else on the street. LAWS must be changed so offenders think twice before putting innocent lives at risk.”
Another commenter echoed the idea that there needs to be more strict punishment for these crimes, offering: “The laws are not working…so many people have numerous DUI & DUI with endangering a minor and still have licenses. Once is a mistake, if it happens twice you should have your license taken permanently! Stop wasting the court’s time and tax payer’s money.”