Ask the average person what is the biggest threat to children on our streets and highways, and he or she might tell you that it’s drunk drivers. That’s the right answer; the problem, however, is that the main threat to children is the adult driving the car the child is in – not the drivers in other vehicles. Earlier this year, the American Academy of Pediatrics published a study of alcohol-related crashes that resulted in children’s fatalities. Between 2001 and 2010, 2,344 children died in alcohol-related traffic collisions. Of those collisions, the driver of the child was drunk in 1,515 cases or 64.63 percent of the fatal accidents.

The study, published in the journal Pediatrics, also found that about two-thirds of children who died as the passengers of drunk drivers were not wearing their seatbelts. Researchers determined that, unsurprisingly, the more a driver had been drinking, the less likely a child was buckled. In the time period studied by the researchers, California had the second highest total number of children killed by the drunk drivers of the cars the children were in.

It’s obvious that drivers put their children at risk when they drink and drive with the children in the car. In California, they also become subject to California’s DUI “child endangerment” sentencing enhancement. Along with the sentence for a California DUI conviction, the enhancement means an additional and consecutive 48 hours in jail on a first offense, 10 days on a second offense, 30 days for a third offense, and 90 days in jail for a fourth or subsequent DUI conviction.

If you’re charged with DUI in southern California, call an experienced Orange County DUI lawyer at once. You could face fines, jail time, and suspension of your driver’s license, not to mention damage to your finances, family, and career. While there is never a guarantee in any criminal proceeding, good DUI lawyers win justice for their clients routinely in California. A good Orange County DUI lawyer can help you to achieve the best possible outcome to your case. If you face the charge, now or in the future, don’t wait to make the call.