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Florida woman warns teenagers about drunk driving consequences

A 25-year-old Florida woman speaks at schools to share her tragic story with teen drivers, hoping to convince them that driving while impaired is not cool. She tells them how one night of typical teenage fun back in 2010 -- at 17 years old -- ruined her life. Drunk driving caused the death of her best friend and robbed her of any opportunities to fulfill her dreams.

The woman says she and two friends got into the vehicle after a night of drinking beers at a campfire. She lost control of the truck, rolling it multiple times and ejecting a passenger who had been her best friend since childhood. Her friend died, and she herself spent months in and out of the hospital. An arrest and conviction on DUI manslaughter charges followed three years later, and her sentence included house arrest for two years, 23 years of probation, and a revoked driver's license.

Her dream to become a nurse, for which she obtained a Certified Nursing Assistant license after school, was shattered because the medical field does not allow convicted felons. She is now a minimum-wage earner with an air conditioning firm. The woman urges teenagers not to drink and drive, saying that living with the knowledge that she killed her best friend is the hardest thing.

Teenagers in Florida who find themselves facing drunk driving charges may not be able to change anything that happened, but with the advocacy of an experienced criminal defense attorney, they might limit the consequences. Seeking legal counsel as soon as possible after an arrest is the best step to take. After examining the charges and the available evidence, the lawyer could launch an independent investigation before devising the most appropriate defense strategy to work toward the best possible outcome.

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