537.07 ENDANGERING CHILDREN.
   (a)   No person, who is the parent, guardian, custodian, person having custody or control, or person in loco parentis of a child under eighteen years of age or a mentally or physically handicapped child under twenty-one years of age, shall create a substantial risk to the health or safety of the child, by violating a duty of care, protection or support.  It is not a violation of a duty of care, protection or support under this subsection when the parent, guardian, custodian or person having custody or control of a child treats the physical or mental illness or defect of the child by spiritual means through prayer alone, in accordance with the tenets of a recognized religious body.
   (b)   No person shall abuse a child under eighteen years of age or a mentally or physically handicapped child under twenty-one years of age.
   (c)   (1)   No person shall operate a vehicle in violation of Section 333.01(a) of the Traffic Code when one or more children under eighteen years of age are in the vehicle.  Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a person may be convicted at the same trial or proceeding of a violation of subsection (c) hereof and a violation of Section 333.01(a) of the Traffic Code that constitutes the basis of the charge of the violation of subsection (c) hereof.  For purposes of Ohio R.C. 4511.191 to 4511.197 and all related provisions of law, a person arrested for a violation of subsection (c) hereof shall be considered to be under arrest for operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, a drug of abuse, or a combination of them or for operating a vehicle with a prohibited concentration of alcohol, a controlled substance, or a metabolite of a controlled substance in the whole blood, blood serum or plasma, breath, or urine.
      (2)   As used in subsection (c) hereof:
         A.   “Controlled substance” has the same meaning as in Ohio R.C. 3719.01.
         B.   "Vehicle" has the same meaning as in Ohio R.C. 4511.01.
   (d)   Whoever violates this section is guilty of endangering children.
      (1)   Whoever violates subsection (a) or (b) hereof is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree.  If the violation results in serious physical harm to the child involved, or if the offender previously has been convicted of an offense under this section, Ohio R.C. 2919.22 or of any offense involving neglect, abandonment, contributing to the delinquency of or physical abuse of a child, endangering children is a felony and shall be prosecuted under appropriate State law.
      (2)   Whoever violates subsection (c) hereof is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree.  Endangering children is a felony and shall be prosecuted under appropriate State law if either of the following applies:
         A.   The violation results in serious physical harm to the child involved or the offender previously has been convicted of an offense under Ohio R.C. 2919.22 or any offense involving neglect, abandonment, contributing to the delinquency of, or physical abuse of a child.
         B.   The violation results in serious physical harm to the child involved and the offender previously has been convicted of a violation of Ohio R.C. 2919.22(C) or subsection (c) hereof, Ohio R.C. 2903.06, or 2903.08, Section 2903.07 as it existed prior to March 23, 2000, or Ohio R.C. 2903.04 in a case in which the offender was subject to the sanctions described in division (D) of that section.
      (3)   In addition to any term of imprisonment, fine, or other sentence, penalty, or sanction it imposes upon the offender pursuant to subsection (d)(2) hereof, or pursuant to any other provision of law, the court also may impose upon the offender any of the sanctions provided under Ohio R.C. 2919.22(E)(5)(d).
   (e)   (1)   If a person violates subsection (c) hereof and if, at the time of the violation, there were two or more children under eighteen years of age in the motor vehicle involved in the violation, the offender may be convicted of a violation of subsection (c) hereof for each of the children, but the court may sentence the offender for only one of the violations.
      (2)   A.   If a person is convicted of or pleads guilty to a violation of subsection (c) hereof but the person is not also convicted of and does not also plead guilty to a separate charge charging the violation of Section 333.01(a) of the Traffic Code that was the basis of the charge of the violation of subsection (c) hereof, both of the following apply:
            1.   For purposes of the provisions of the Traffic Code penalty that set forth the penalties and sanctions for a violation of Section 333.01(a) of the Traffic Code, the conviction of or plea of guilty to the violation of subsection (c) hereof shall not constitute a violation of Section 333.01(a) of the Traffic Code.
            2.   For purposes of any provision of law that refers to a conviction of or plea of guilty to a violation of Section 333.01(a) of the Traffic Code and that is not described in subsection (e)(2)A.1. hereof, the conviction of or plea of guilty to the violation of subsection (c) hereof shall constitute a conviction of or plea of guilty to a violation of Section 333.01(a) of the Traffic Code.
         B.   If a person is convicted of or pleads guilty to a violation of subsection (c) hereof and the person also is convicted of or pleads guilty to a separate charge charging the violation of Section 333.01(a) of the Traffic Code that was the basis of the charge of the violation of subsection (c) hereof, the conviction of or plea of guilty to the violation of subsection (c) hereof shall not constitute, for purposes of any provision of law that refers to a conviction of or plea of guilty to a violation of Section 333.01(a) of the Traffic Code, a conviction of or plea of guilty to a violation of Section 333.01(a) of the Traffic Code.
            (ORC 2919.22)