Orlando Woman Charged For DUI Crash That Seriously Hurt Two Children
According to a report from Click Orlando, a 32-year-old woman from Orlando has been arrested and charged with felony drunk driving related to a crash. Notably, two children suffered significant injuries in the collision. Ashauntie Cox is facing multiple criminal charges in Polk County. In this article, our Orlando DUI defense attorney explains what we know about this case and provides an overview of the specific charges that were filed.
Arrest Made After Young Children Hurt in Central Florida DUI Crash
32-year-old Ashauntie Cox of Orlando is facing severe charges following a DUI-related incident involving two car crashes that critically injured two children. The distressing event unfolded on U.S. Highway 27, where Cox allegedly initiated a collision before fleeing the scene, subsequently causing another serious accident. Authorities report Cox’s vehicle flipped multiple times, ejecting the two young passengers, aged 5 and 8. Notably, an adult passenger sustained significant spinal, hip, and back injuries in the crash as well. Evidence of marijuana use and alcohol consumption was found in Cox’s vehicle. She now faces multiple counts of DUI, negligent child abuse, and reckless driving, with further charges pending investigation.
Florida has a Specific Statute for DUI With a Child in the Car
Florida has explicit legal provisions to deal with DUI offenses involving a child passenger. Under Florida Statutes § 316.193(4), a motorist arrested and charged with a DUI with a child passenger will face escalated criminal penalties. The statute is a recognition of the heightened risk and culpability associated with impaired driving, especially when it endangers the lives of children. Specifically, the heightened penalties include:
- A increased fine;
- A greater statutory maximum jail term; and
- The requirement of an ignition interlock device.
A Drunk Driver With a Child Passenger Could Also Face a Negligent Child Abuse Charge
In Florida, a DUI offense involving a child passenger may additionally lead to a charge of negligent child abuse. Indeed, in this case, the Orlando woman is facing a secondary charge for negligent child abuse. The law categorizes such behavior as a form of neglect, acknowledging the inherent duty of a caregiver or adult to ensure a child’s safety. By breaching this obligation, an intoxicated driver subjects themselves to further legal scrutiny and potential penalties. Notably, negligent child abuse can be a very serious charge. A culpably negligent parent/caregiver who causes great bodily harm to a child may be charged with a second degree felony child abuse offense that carries significant prison time.
Were You Arrested and Charged With DUI in Orlando?
We can help. At The Baez Law Firm, our Orlando DUI defense lawyer is a skilled, experienced, and reliable advocate for defendants. If you or your family member was arrested and charged with a felony drunk driving offense, we are more than ready to determine the best course of action. Call us now or contact us online for a confidential initial consultation. From our Orlando law office, we defend DUI charges throughout Central Florida.