Archived Story

Ask Trooper Rob: What are Michigan’s laws regarding drunken driving with kids in the vehicle?

Published 8:31pm Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Parent Tip: Who do your kids want to be like? Are you sure? Parents are their child’s No. 1 role models. Studies have shown that most kids identify their parents as the most important role models in their lives. As parents, this is an honor and an undertaking. Parents have to continue to assess their own actions and behaviors in order to ensure that they are sending the right messages to their children. It is important for parents to talk about their mistakes, express their desire to work on having a positive attitude even when things aren’t going well, set and achieve goals and talk about their personal role models and people they respect.
Listed are eight ways to set a good example: 1) Maintain a healthy lifestyle, 2) model a love of learning, 3) keep a positive attitude, 4) take responsibility for yourself, 5) behave ethically, 6) model good coping skills, 7) be reliable, and 8) model service to others. Helpful websites include www.drugfree.org , www.parenting.org , www.abovetheinfluence.com , www.theantidrug.com , www.parentingisprevention.org , and www.drugfreeamerica.org. Also check out the website of C.A.S.S. for more information, www.facebook.com/CASS.Community.
Q: Trooper Rob, does Michigan have a law concerning drunken driving with the children in the car? — Justine from Perth, Austrailia.
A: Justine, we do have a law concerning this topic. It goes along with this week’s parent tip of setting a good example for your children. It is illegal to drive under the influence while children are also in the vehicle.
MVC257.625 Operating motor vehicle while intoxicated;… (7) A person, whether licensed or not, is subject to the following requirements: (a) He or she shall not operate a vehicle in violation of subsection (1), (3), (4), (5), or (8) (under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs) while another person who is less than 16 years of age is occupying the vehicle. A person who violates this subdivision is guilty of a crime punishable as follows: …a person who violates this subdivision is guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be sentenced to pay a fine of not less than $200.00 or more than $1,000.00 and to 1 or more of the following: (A) Imprisonment for not less than five days or more than one year. Not less than 48 hours of this imprisonment shall be served consecutively. This term of imprisonment shall not be suspended. (B) Community service for not less than 30 days or more than 90 days. (ii) If the violation occurs within seven years of a prior conviction or after two or more prior convictions, regardless of the number of years that have elapsed since any prior conviction, a person who violates this subdivision is guilty of a felony and shall be sentenced to pay a fine of not less than $500.00 or more than $5,000.00 and to either of the following: (A) Imprisonment under the jurisdiction of the department of corrections for not less than one year or more than five years. (B) Probation with imprisonment in the county jail for not less than 30 days or more than 1 year and community service for not less than 60 days or more than 180 days. Not less than 48 hours of this imprisonment shall be served consecutively. This term of imprisonment shall not be suspended.
I normally do not give opinions or experiences in this article but this topic of setting the example has affected a few incidents I have been involved with. In my first article, I discussed bullying. Years ago, a young student was suspended off the bus for bully actions. I sat in on the discipline process for the school.  I introduced myself to the young student and he crossed his arms and refused to shake my hand. When the parents arrived, again, I was introduced as the school liaison and as I was reaching to shake the hand of the father, the father crossed his arms and refused to shake my hand. It’s obvious the child has modeled himself off the father, even in a negative aspect. Recently I was at a local store and as I was walking by a family, I heard the male adult say to a young male child (in a mean voice) “You must be a chicken, so there, how do you feel now? Take that…” Obviously, I didn’t hear the whole conversation, but when children are bullied at home, they may try to regain power and control by bullying at school.
So law enforcement is affected by the example you, as the parent, set. As the parent tip above asks, who do your kids want to be like? Are you setting a good example for the child to be a productive citizen in the community?

By using this website’s user-contribution features, including comments, photo galleries, or any other feature, you agree to abide by the terms of use. Please read this agreement in its entirety because it contains useful information that will help you better understand the rules and general "good manners" that are expected when contributing content to this website.

Editor's Picks