DUI & Endangerment: Understanding Your Charges

by KariLloyd on September 24, 2013

(US Law) There are some criminalized acts on the books that many people don’t even realize are crimes, but when it comes to driving under the influence (DUI), this is not a realistic belief. Even with some of the consequences of a DUI conviction being common knowledge, there are still numerous DUI arrests every year. In 2010, for example, there were around 1.4 million arrests for DUI. It’s important to note, though, that there are other charges that can stem from drunk driving. Because of this, all drivers should know these laws if they hope to fully understand the consequences of drinking and driving. Potential Drunk Driving ChargesThere are various charges that someone could face for drinking and driving. The most obvious and well known charge is DUI. A person usually ends up charged with a DUI if they are pulled over with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 percent. In some instances, however, a person may be charged with endangerment; this crime occurs when a person commits an act that creates a risk of death or injury to another person. Checking with someone local to your incident, such as a Florida DUI lawyer, is a good idea if you’re not completely sure of what you’ve been charged with.

In addition, a person could face reckless driving charges, which is operating a vehicle in a dangerous manner, if stopped for drinking and driving. Yet another charge related to drunk driving is “wet reckless”; this means that an individual was unsafe to be on the road due to alcohol. Finally, at least one state has a “DUI less safe” charge which allows officers to arrest an individual for DUI even if the driver doesn’t fail a breathalyzer. The officer only needs to believe that the individual is driving less safe than they would be had they not consumed any alcohol.

Charge Reduction

In many instances, the aforementioned charges can serve as reductions for a DUI charge. The penalties related to a driving under the influence conviction are usually much more severe than any of these other charges. Unfortunately for many, the judge and prosecutor will not be quick to offer these plea deals. A person usually needs an attorney to negotiate with the prosecutor to secure a less taxing conviction.It should be noted, though, that some of these charges can be even worse than DUI. Endangerment, for instance, usually brings a less severe penalty than a DUI conviction. In some cases, however, prosecutors are able to charge this crime as a felony. This is more likely to be done if an accident or serious injuries occurred due to drinking and driving, but it’s important to recognize that this may actually be charged in addition to a DUI. Consequences of Conviction

The consequences related to all of these charges will vary depending on the specific circumstances of the case and the state in which the alleged crime occurred. In most instances, a person convicted of DUI will face a license suspension, probation, DUI school and potentially even jail. The penalties for the other charges, though, such as reckless driving or endangerment, won’t usually be as severe. It’s also important to recognize, however, that other consequences can arise for a DUI.A DUI conviction will be a serious mark against a person’s driving record. It can result in several points being added to a driver’s license and even an increase in insurance rates. Additionally, a DUI conviction can make it excessively difficult to get a job that involves driving. Endangerment and reckless driving, on the other hand, usually won’t have the same outcome. The important thing is to have an attorney to try to get all charges dropped, and if this is impossible, at least they may be able to secure a reduction in charges.Drinking and driving is a serious crime, and the consequences related to a DUI conviction can be detrimental. It’s important to note, though, that a DUI conviction isn’t the only possible outcome in these situations. Courts can charge an individual with several of the aforementioned crimes, but in some cases, it’s possible to have a DUI charge reduced to one of these other violations. It usually takes a good defense attorney to pull this off, but if it avoids a DUI conviction, it was well worth it.


Kari Lloyd is a freelance writer and blogger who contributes extensively to publications both online and offline. Alcohol abuse is a subject she is passionate about, and she found a great deal of information on DUI’s for this article from Florida DUI lawyer Katz & Phillips.



Freelance Writer
Kari Lloyd is an avid blogger and journalist who writes about a wide variety of topics both on and offline.

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