Suspected Drunk Driver With Child Passenger Faces Abuse Charge

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January 31, 2024 - Auto Accidents

A Sumter County woman accused of driving under the influence of alcohol with a young boy in her car has been hit with child abuse charges.

The 43-year-old woman was recently pulled over near the Publix supermarket parking lot at Palm Plaza after being caught speeding, Village-News reports. Cops said they clocked her car at 57 miles per hour in a 35 MPH zone.

“The police officer noticed that [the driver] had ‘a strong odor’ of alcohol emanating from her breath,” according to the news outlet. “She also was ‘mumbling’ and had ‘slurred speech.’”

Police also said the “young boy” in the car - whose age was not specified - reportedly was not in a child seat and was not wearing a seatbelt at the time.

The woman was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving after she reportedly “performed poorly” during field sobriety tests. She was also charged with child abuse and resisting arrest.

“She began pulling away from the officer and demanded the officer stop grabbing her arm,” Villages-News reports. “She continued to be combative and would not consent to a breath test.”

The driver was taken to Lake County Jail and later released after posting a $4,000 bond.

Drinking and Driving Puts Lives at Risk

Drivers in The Villages and across Florida knowingly get behind the wheel while intoxicated every day, despite the serious safety risks it poses to them and anyone else on the road with them.

The good news is that no one was hurt in this particular situation. That often is not the case.

More than 15,000 traffic accidents involving alcohol and/or drugs occur across the state every year, killing some 800 people, according to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. That is in addition to the scores of people who suffer serious and even life-changing injuries in these collisions.

Anyone who has been injured in an accident caused by a drunk driver in Florida has the right to seek compensation from those responsible for the crash. That includes money for medical bills and property damage, as well as for missed wages while recuperating and any long-term impact on earning capacity. 

To get that compensation, you have to be able to prove liability. Most Florida car accident cases are based on claims of negligence, a legal theory that holds people and entities liable when they do not meet a certain “duty of care.”

Drivers owe everyone else on the road a “duty of care,” which requires them to operate their vehicles in a reasonably safe manner. Those who do not live up to this standard - including by getting behind the wheel while intoxicated - are considered negligent and legally liable for any injuries that happen as a result. 

Fortunately, you are not on your own. A Villages accident attorney at our firm can help.

Speak with a Villages Accident Attorney

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car crash, bicycle collision or other accident, it is vital to seek the advice of an experienced injury lawyer. Villages accident attorney Tim Babiarz has been fighting for people and families across the community for more than two decades. 

Our office is conveniently located in the Villages. We are also proud to represent clients throughout the area, including in Ocala, Leesburg, Lady Lake, Wildwood, Summerfield and beyond. Call (352) 205-7559 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with a Villages accident attorney.

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