Will I lose my kids if I get a DUI?

It is somewhat common that a parent will be arrested for Driving Under the Influence without his/her children in the vehicle and after the arrest, that parent will be involved in litigation surrounding parenting time with the kids.  

We have had clients tell us that the other parent is holding over their head a DUI they received over a decade prior to the child's birth.  

While there are very few guarantees in law, it is highly unlikely that a DUI from a time prior to your kid's birth is going to affect your parenting time.  A more recent DUI, if the children are in the vehicle, is certainly something the court will consider as it is highly dangerous to the children.  

Additionally, if the DUI is a pattern of substance abuse, that will certainly be something the Court considers under Sec. 61.13 Florida Statutes.  If you have found yourself in this situation, there are steps you can take to minimize the potential risk of being prevented from seeing your children.

It may be wise to have a substance abuse evaluation performed.  It is an absolute necessity that you follow any and all requirements of any probation and/or penalties associated with the criminal case, and it may benefit you to attend some Alcoholics Anonymous meetings to be sure you have your drinking under control.

Litigating the parenting schedule of your children is a stressful proposition and can be made even worse by these unknowns.  You have to forgive yourself for past mistakes and take responsibility for improving yourself as a parent each day.  That's all you can do, your legal team will take care of the rest.