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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 25930
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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Why having a child in the car while the driver is under the

Customer Question

Why having a child in the car while the driver is under the influence of alcohol is a felony of child endangerment but having 30 kids in a school bus with out a safety strain is catalogue as child endangerment?
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 6 months ago.


I'm Zoey and I'll be assisting you. I'm reviewing your question now.

Could you rewrite your last sentence as it appears to have mistakes in it and I'm not 100% sure of what you're saying.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Why having 30 kids in a school bus with out a safety seat belt it's not a felony
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 6 months ago.

Thank you.

That's what I thought you meant but I wanted to be sure. The answer is because the law provides for one but not for the other.

That is, driving while intoxicated is a criminal offense. Driving while intoxicated with a child in the car is child endangerment in some states and/or results in an enhanced penalty for the DUI in others. This is because the penal code in these states say so.

There is no state or Federal law that mandates having seat belts in large school busses, however. So a driver of a school bus with 30 unharnessed children is not breaking any law. If that same driver were driving a school bus while under the influence of alcohol, however, he'd be facing felony charges in your state whether the children were belted or not.

I agree with you that school busses could be safer. But so far the law doesn't because studies have not shown that belts would make a significant difference in large school busses.

You might want to find some like-minded people to start petitions and send them to your legislature to change the law. But until that happens, it's not child endangerment.

You can read an interesting article on this here.

Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 6 months ago.

Just checking in to see if you need more help or any clarification of my answer. If so, please reply here on this question thread.