Orange County, CA- No matter how you look at, driving under the influence is wrong. It’s illegal and it’s deadly, taking the lives of thousands of Americans each year. Too often, children are affected when an adult or teen drives while intoxicated. Two recent DUI incidents in California

On Thursday, August 14th, a woman with five passengers, including two of her children, was traveling on the Pacific Coast Highway when she lost control of her vehicle and slammed into a tree. The driver’s 7 year-old son, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was killed on impact, KTLA reported.

The driver, Latoya Najar, 34, her daughter and an adult passenger in the vehicle were injured and taken to a local hospital for treatment.

Police determined Najar was intoxicated at the time of the crash and said is facing felony DUI charges.

In many states, California included, DUI offenders with minor children in their vehicles face child endangerment charges on top of their DUI charges which carries a whole different set of consequences. If they have multiple children in their vehicle, a DUI offender can be charged separate charges for each child. Other states consider driving with a minor as an aggravating circumstances.

A DUI is a serious enough charge, but it you have a child endangerment, you should contact an Orange County DUI attorney to explain the options you have. In some cases

In a separate accident, last week five high school students and a bus driver, suffered minor injuries when a drunken driver hit their school bus head-on, CBS News reported. The August 14th accident occurred early, just after 6 a.m. as students were being taken to a local high school and fortunately there was just a handful of students on the bus.

Police told CBS San Diego they suspected the 23 year-old driver was intoxicated. He was arrested and charged with DUI.

Since fatal and injurious DUI accidents often make headlines, it gives many the impression that all drunken drivers cause accidents. That’s not entirely true, out of the 1.2 million DUI arrests in the U.S. last year (FBI statistics), only a fraction, approximately 9,978 end in a traffic fatality (2011 NHTSA statistics). That’s still too many unnecessary deaths and too many lives put in danger, but it the overwhelming majority of DUI offenders don’t cause fatal accidents.

Make no mistake, drunken drivers need to understand the consequences of their actions if they are guilty. But they should also be able present a defense on their behalf. There are many instances in which a person can be wrongfully charged with a DUI or weren’t actually intoxicated at the time of their arrest.

DUI sentences can be severe and a conviction will impact a person for years to come. Our California DUI attorneys strive to provide their clients with the most effective defense possible. They can negotiate for reduced charges or less severe penalties depending on the circumstances of your case.