Montandon Dad Charged With DUI And Child Endangerment For Falling Asleep In Parked Car While Daughter Was Present
Every parent knows the dangers, legal and otherwise, of leaving a child in an unattended vehicle. Sleep-deprived parents exchange hacks on social media for how to remind themselves not to go inside the house without first taking the sleepy baby out of the car seat in the back; one grandmother even drives barefoot when transporting her young grandchildren, leaving her shoes in the back seat, because, if she tries to leave the car without her grandkids, she will remember to take them out as soon as her bare feet touch the pavement. Did you know that, in some circumstances, you can get charged with child endangerment for leaving a child in a parked car if you are in the car with the child? When this happens, drugs are usually to blame. If you are facing criminal charges for driving while under the influence of drugs, with or without a child present, contact a Pittsburgh drug crimes lawyer.
DUI Charges Are Not Just About Alcohol
Pennsylvania law defines driving under the influence (DUI) as operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, illegal drugs, or other controlled substances which are incompatible with safe driving. If you are driving erratically enough to get pulled over, you can get charged with drug DUI even if the only drug you have consumed is a drug for which you have a valid prescription, one that comes with a warning not to drive after taking it. The maximum penalty for a first offense drug DUI conviction is a $5,000 fine, a one-year driver’s license suspension, and six months in jail. If you get charged with drug DUI and have no other criminal convictions, you could be eligible for drug court, where your charges will be dropped if you complete court-ordered addiction treatment and other requirements.
In the News
The trouble started when Northumberland County Child and Youth worker Lisa Musser saw Dalton Smith of Montandon asleep in the driver’s seat of a car in a parking lot in West Chillisquaque Township on March 23. Smith’s young daughter was in the back seat. Smith woke up as Musser approached the vehicle, and when she tried to open the rear door to take the child out, Smith drove away. State troopers caught up to him at his house later that day. Smith admitted that he had relapsed on drugs a month earlier and had drunk one beer that day. A blood test showed that he had consumed amphetamine, fentanyl, norfentanyl, and methamphetamine. He is currently facing misdemeanor charges for DUI and child endangerment.
Contact an Attorney Today for Help
Drug possession is not the only crime that is more a symptom of addiction than a malicious act. A criminal defense lawyer can help you if you are facing criminal charges related to an incident stemming from a recent drug relapse. Contact the law offices of Gary E. Gerson in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania about your case.