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.