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Will a DUI Charge Hurt My Chances of Child Custody?

Will a DUI Charge Hurt My Chances of Child Custody?

If you are a parent in the midst of divorce who has recently been charged with a DUI, you are probably asking yourself whether it will hurt your chances of child custody. Unfortunately, the short answer is yes, DUI charges will affect your chances of obtaining child custody, regardless of whether it is joint or full custody. When it comes to South Dakota DUI laws, certain factors have a larger impact on child custody than others, including whether or not the DUI was accompanied by any other charges. It will also be affected by any other convictions levied against you, the quality of relationship you maintain with your former spouse, and the overall strength of the state’s case.

Fortunately, DUI charges rarely have any impact on legal custody, meaning you will still have a say in regards to your child’s medical treatments, general welfare, and education. However, DUIs often have the most significant affect in regards to physical custody, which pertains to where the child lives. To help give you a better understanding, here are a few brief examples of how a DUI can harm your chances of child custody.

DUIs Affect Your Ability to Drive

Sometimes a DUI can result in a suspended license, even with a DUI defense attorney. Unfortunately, having your license suspended will affect your overall mobility, impacting whether or not you are able to run errands with and for your children. This may prove to be more bearable if you live in an area where everything is within walking distance, but if you live somewhere plagued by heavy traffic, the outcome would be far less desirable. Additionally, the ability to drive and have reliable transportation is a crucial factor nearly all employers take into account before hiring someone. If your ability to drive affects your ability to maintain dutiful employment just think about the adverse impact it will have on your custody chances.


Getting charged with a DUI may necessitate parenting plan stipulations, which can include alcohol and other self-help classes. These may still be imposed even if you are not actually convicted, so consider doing your best to maintain civility with your spouse. A drunk driving attorney would be effective here, as they could advocate professionally on your behalf and configure the proposed stipulations in accordance with your best interest.

Other Charges

Every subsequent DUI charge against you will worsen any allegations made against you. Conversely, if you have priors related to drinking, drugs, weapons, or anything therein, you can expect those to weigh heavily on your fresh DUI charge. This is because multiple charges enable one to build a comprehensive, albeit potentially inaccurate, behavioral profile. Whether accurate or not, you don’t have to be a DUI specialist to understand that it means you ultimately lose the presumption of innocence. Don’t let this be you. Put your best foot forward and Griese Law today.