Many Child Deaths Caused When Driver is Drunk

A national study concluded that the majority of DUI fatalities for children were the result of their parent or guardian being impaired while driving with a child in the vehicle. The biggest threat according to the study is not strangers driving drunk but the children’s own caregivers.

In the nation-wide study, the data indicates that most impaired drivers survived these crashes. The implications of this finding suggest that many kids lives could have been saved if they’d been wearing seat belts or using car seats. Approximately 66 percent of kids who died while riding with drunken drivers were not wearing seat belts. A number of the drivers had no valid license and most were adults.

The researchers in the study reviewed traffic deaths over the 10 year period between 2000 and 2010. What the data collection revealed was that 2,344 passengers younger than age 15 were killed in crashes involving a drunk driver. Approximately 66 percent were riding in cars driven by drunken drivers, but those cases declined by 40 percent over the decade.

The two states with the highest deaths of impaired driving related child fatalities were Texas and California, but the frequency rates were higher in some smaller, less densely populated states.

In a previous research study of the grounded in DUI related traffic fatalities, researchers published a similar analysis 14 years ago. The results were sadly similar and found close to 6,000 child deaths involving a drunken driver between 1985 to 1996. Paralleling the new numbers, two-thirds of those deaths were in kids riding with a drunken driver.

Noting that child deaths caused by impaired drivers, likely their parents or guardians, have not declined significantly and it fact have remained static in many regards, the researchers have made recommendations to reduce the child fatalities. One of the top recommendations is to uniformly enforce the laws, with stiff penalties. It was also suggested that drivers must be subjected to more stringent means to ensure that they have not been drinking before driving: similar to Canada’s interlock programs. An increase in roadside check stops was also encouraged.

We all want our children to be safe, but if you have been unfairly charged with impaired driving, don’t leave your future up to the courts. Let Slaferek Callihoo in Grand Prairie defend your rights at your upcoming trial. Contact us today.

Posted on May 30th, 2014