Kalamazoo, MI- A Michigan woman is facing serious charges after she was caught driving under the influence with her 3 year-old child in the car.

According to MLive, 30 year-old Melissa Kay Dillon was pulled over Sunday around 3 a.m. after a police officer observed her driving erratically in Muskegon. During the course of their stop, police determined that Dillon was intoxicated and placed her under arrest.

Dillon’s 3 year-old child was in the back of the car, secured in a safety seat. The child was safe and released into the custody of her grandmother.

Dillon was charged with driving while intoxicated, second offense, and child endangerment, which carries maximum penalty of five years in jail, MLive reported. She has a previous drunken driving conviction from 2008.

According to Mothers against Drunk Driving (MADD), 20 percent of traffic fatalities involving children aged 14 and under were caused by drunken drivers. In the majority of those drunken driving accidents, it is the parents of children who put them in harm’s way. In many cases, intoxicated adults fail to properly restrain the children they are transporting.

No matter which state you live in, driving while intoxicated with a minor child in your vehicle is a very serious charge. DUI offenders have an uphill battle fighting the intoxicated driving charges and adding child endangerment charges makes that battle even more difficult.

In the state of Michigan, first DUI/ child endangerment carries a jail sentence of up to one year in jail and fines from $200 to $1,000. A second offense calls for a seven year jail sentence, costly fines and the offender will be charged with a felony.

There is no excuse for driving under the influence, especially with a child in the car. But all DUI offenders, regardless of how anyone feels about their actions, deserve the opportunity to present a defense on their behalf.

When facing a DUI with child endangerment charges, the alleged offender needs to retain a Michigan DUI attorney as soon as they are able. Giving you legal team a head start on your defense will give you a greater chance of negating some of the severe penalties you are facing.

Anyone facing DUI charges needs to be proactive and seek out legal counsel immediately. Some DUI offenders fail to realize how much an impact a DUI conviction will have on their immediate and distant future. There are many DUI offenders who think they don’t need an attorney working on their defense. Or, they don’t think they can afford and attorney so they choose to try and handle their charges on their own or with the advice of well-intentioned family and friends.  Not having a Kalamazoo DUI attorney working on your case is a mistake that will haunt you for years to come. An attorney does more than just work on a defense strategy, they also play a vital role in negotiations for lesser charges, plea bargains or reduced penalties.

Visit www.johnlcornlawoffices.com for more information on dui laws.