Teen Not Wearing Seatbelt Hits Windshield in DWI Crash

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Is your child correctly buckled every time you ride?


Driver Arrested for DWI After Child Not Wearing Seatbelt Hits Windshield in Crash

According to a KSAT News report, a child was seriously injured, and a driver was arrested after a crash Saturday night.

Police reported the incident occurred on the 1600 block of North Hamilton Avenue at around 8:15 p.m. on March 2nd. The driver of a Jeep was traveling southbound when a Ford truck failed to yield the right of way and pulled in front of the Jeep. The driver of the Jeep hit the driver’s side of the Ford, causing a teenage passenger in the Jeep who was not wearing a seatbelt to hit the windshield. Police evaluated the driver of the Jeep and charged them with suspicion of driving while intoxicated with a child under 15 years old and endangering a child.

The child’s condition is unknown, but police reported they were seriously injured. The driver of the Ford was not found to be intoxicated but was cited for driving without an operator’s license.

Did You Know?

There are many actions a driver in Texas could be charged with child endangerment for.

Is Not Wearing a Seatbelt Child Endangerment in Texas?

Child endangerment is a somewhat subjective term. Parenting styles differ, and what one person may consider abusive may seem reasonable to another. As such, child endangerment claims are easy to make and difficult to defend against.

That being said, there are a few actions a driver in Texas can take that are clearly defined as child endangerment under Texas law. Let’s take a look.

Allowing a Child to Ride Without a Seatbelt

Children younger than 8 years old (unless taller than 4″9) must be in a child safety seat whenever they ride. Older children must be buckled up with a regular seatbelt during every ride.

Failure to properly secure a child is child endangerment in Texas, and could land you jail even they don’t get hurt.

Reckless Driving With a Child Passenger

Reckless driving includes actions like:

  • Speeding,
  • Running a red light,
  • Tailgating,
  • And erratic lane changes.

You can be charged with child endangerment if you are caught driving recklessly with a child in your vehicle in Texas, even if they don’t get hurt.

Drunk Driving With a Child Passenger

Drunk driving is already a crime, but if you drive drunk with a child passenger, you can also be charged with child endangerment. The consequences are also steeper if you’re caught drunk driving with a child passenger.

Leaving a Child Younger than Seven Years Old in a Car by Themselves for More Than 5 Minutes

Leaving your kid in the car is not just a bad idea; it’s illegal. If you leave a child younger than 7 alone for more than 5 minutes, you can be charged with child endangerment in Texas.

Child endangerment charges are no joke. The punishment ranges, but at minimum, you can face jail time and hefty fines. Traffic fines can escalate into an arrest if there’s a child younger than 15 in your vehicle, so drive safe and make sure your kids buckle up every time you ride.

Facing a Child Endangerment Charge after an Auto Accident? Call Carabin Shaw.

It can feel terrible to be on the receiving end of a child endangerment charge. Don’t face it alone. Get help for your child endangerment charge at Carabin Shaw.

Our criminal defense attorneys understand the complexities of child endangerment charges in Texas. Call our firm for immediate help at 800-862-1260. We look forward to serving you.

Contacting a Carabin Shaw attorney is free and does not obligate you to choose the firm.

¹KSAT report


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