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Faced with drunk driving charges? Remember your rights

Drunk driving is one of the most dangerous driving behaviors that can lead to an accident. We know it's illegal and we know that we shouldn't do it, but no one is perfect. People make bad decisions or mistakes without the intention of hurting anyone, but the fact is that drunk driving can and does contribute to serious car accidents all across Florida.

If you are arrested for drunk driving, the last thing you may want to hear is a lecture about what a serious mistake it is to drive drunk. What you may need is to learn about what happens next and how you can take steps to minimize your exposure to the harshest penalties of a DUI conviction.

You have the right to work with an attorney to defend against drunk driving charges and explore alternatives to traditional -- and aggressive -- penalties for drunk driving. Depending on several factors, you may be able to challenge the charges based on improper police procedure or negotiate alternatives to jail and reduced license suspensions. You may have made a mistake, but you still have rights.

This can be especially important to remember this weekend. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Memorial Day is one of six periods during which DUI fatalities traditionally increase. The extended weekend means people are off work, celebrating and relaxing with friends and family. This often comes with an increase in alcohol consumption. 

Police are aware of these risks and often pay much closer attention to behaviors that might suggest a driver is intoxicated over holiday weekends. Traffic stops and arrest rates can increase during these periods of time, which can mean more people end up facing drunk driving charges.

We encourage everyone to stay safe this weekend and exercise caution while driving. However, if you make a mistake and end up in the back of a police car in handcuffs, it is important to remember that you have the right to speak with an attorney.

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Jason Rogozinski

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