Law Firm of Scott T. Moorey

Drunk driving charges come in various levels of severity

Driving while impaired risks not only the life of the driver but also his or her passengers and other road users. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for a driver to think his or her blood alcohol level is below the legal limit. While a Florida driver might think a drunk driving charge could be the worst thing that could happen, certain things can aggravate DUI charges to make them even worse.

A driver under the age of 21 years can be charged even if he or she had only one drink -- based on the zero tolerance DUI laws. If any driver commits a repeat DUI offense, punishment will be more severe. For a second drunk driving offense, the fine will be higher, and an ignition interlock device might be ordered. Also, a longer license suspension, community service and jail time might be part of the punishment. When it is the third conviction, time behind bars will be almost a given.

Another aspect that might exacerbate the severity of drunk driving charges is having a child in the car. Child endangerment can be added to the charges, and child custody might even be lost. A drunk driver who causes an accident that results in the death of another person will likely face a DUI manslaughter charge. 

Any driver who is facing a drunk driving charge can benefit by securing the services of an experienced DUI defense attorney as soon as possible. This is important whether it is a standard charge for a first offense or a DUI manslaughter charge. A Florida lawyer can assess the charges, the evidence and the methods used to determine the driver's blood alcohol content before working to devise a defense strategy focused on achieving dismissed or reduced charges and/or favorable sentencing considerations by the court.

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