Your Ex Got a DUI with Your Child in the Car | Can You Get Custody?

You take your responsibilities as a parent seriously, which is why you are appalled by your ex’s arrest for driving drunk. Even worse, he or she had your child in the car. If you are concerned for your child’s welfare, please read on, then contact an experienced Pensacola child custody lawyer to learn if you can get custody after your ex got a DUI with your child in the car.

Does your ex lose custody after a DUI with your child in the car?

That would depend on the circumstances of his or her case and a host of other factors. Nonetheless, in Florida, if your ex sustains a conviction for driving while intoxicated or driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs with your child in the vehicle, he or she may lose custody because of the incarceration alone.  Furthermore, your ex will face the following penalties:

  • A fine between $1,000 and $2,000
  • Up to 9 months of jail time
  • Mandatory ignition interlock devices for at least 6 months

Additionally, your ex may face charges for child endangerment. A conviction could lead to the involvement of the Florida Department of Child and Family Services as well as a reevaluation of child custody.

What should you do after your ex gets a DUI with your child in the car?

The Family Court and other entities may view a parent’s abuse of alcohol or alcoholism as creating a dangerous situation for a child, therefore justifying an emergency change in custody. After your ex gets a DUI with your child in the car, you should take the following steps:

  • Reach out to a skilled Pensacola family law attorney.
  • File a Motion for an Emergency Change in Custody: This document must contain objective evidence supporting the claim that the new circumstances have created a dangerous situation for the child and should include arrest records and similar corroboration.
  • Have your attorney request an expedited hearing: Within a few days of the Motion, your attorney should ask the court to temporarily relocate the child into the requesting parent’s care pending the outcome of the hearing.

Let our team handle the legal work, while you focus on the difficult task of raising your child. Please give us a call today.


For decades, the Law Office of James M. Burns has helped countless people through a wide array of legal issues, including those involving criminal law, family law, personal injury law, and will & probate law. If require the assistance of a competent legal team that can effectively guide you through each phase of your legal matter, you’ve come to the right place. Contact the Law Office of James M. Burns today to schedule your initial consultation.