Alcohol Consumption May Fuel Many Crimes
Lakeland, FL (Law Firm Newswire) July 11, 2014 – If a person has consumed enough alcohol to alter their mental state and/or affect their physical ability, and they drive, they run the risk of breaking the law.
“Many alcohol related crimes are considered to be misdemeanors, but with the presence of alcohol at higher blood concentrations, a lesser crime has the ability to turn into a serious offense,” states Lakeland criminal defense attorney, Thomas C. Grajek.
The most serious crime committed while under the influence of alcohol is driving while impaired, driving while intoxicated or driving under the influence. Even though various states refer to this offense by different acronyms, such as DUI, DWI, OVI or OWI, it is still illegal and still poses a danger to the drunk driver and others. No matter what the offense is referred to as, it is serious and may well be a felony charge if there is an accident and someone is injured, or if an individual has been stopped and charged several times before for the same offense.
“It is illegal for someone under the age of 21-years-old to buy alcohol,” says Grajek, “or to drink in a public place. However, there are some states that offer more leniencies to minors under the influence if they are in their own home or the home of a friend. It helps if there is a parent present, but this also varies by jurisdiction as well. It also depends on the circumstances of the case.”
Adults that permit children to drink are liable for their actions and in some areas of the U.S. adults are criminally liable if they let a minor drink and drive. Selling alcohol to a minor is illegal no matter what state a person lives in.
A lesser-known alcohol offense is that of public intoxication, also referred to as a PI offense. It is a crime if an individual has been drinking in a public place and a police officer feels that person is a danger to others or themselves. This is usually charged as a misdemeanor, depending on how the intoxicated individual acts. The offender does get a criminal record.