Nowadays, virtually everyone understands it is a bad idea to drink and drive. If you get behind the wheel after having a few drinks, you may put your life and the lives of others in jeopardy. You may also face a lifetime of employment and other consequences. You may not realize, though, that a DUI in Pennsylvania may wreak havoc on your child custody case.
In 2017, there were more than 10,000 alcohol-related accidents on Pennsylvania roadways. To bring that number down significantly, state and local law enforcement have stepped up to catch intoxicated drivers. At a minimum, receiving a DUI conviction is an annoyance. If you are trying to obtain custody of your children, though, a DUI may derail your plans.
Judges consider DUIs when determining custody
In 2011, Pennsylvania family law changed significantly. Beginning that year, judges must explore whether a parent has committed certain offenses when determining who should get custody of the kids. DUIs are on the list of offenses.
Your DUI matters
If you have a DUI conviction on your record, a judge must determine if you are a danger to the young ones in your family. As such, if your DUI happened recently, you may have to jump through a variety of legal hoops to prove you are not likely to harm your children.
Other DUIs may affect your custody determination
Even if you have never had a DUI, drunk driving may factor into your custody determination. That is, judges must consider the DUIs of everyone living in your household. If someone who lives with you poses a risk to your children, convincing a judge to grant you custody may be an uphill battle.
While you may expect to lose your driving privileges or serve a jail sentence after a DUI conviction, you may not have considered the effect a DUI may have on your custody case. If you have a DUI conviction on your record, you likely must act diligently to boost your chances of winning custody.