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Late night fast food stop leads to charges for country star

A Florida McDonald's was the scene of a minor car accident on Dec. 20 that led to criminal charges for country singer Michael Ray. The charges of DUI and drug possession came after Ray rear-ended a car that was in front of him at the restaurant's drive-thru.

According to police, Ray was in a Jeep Wrangler at a McDonald's in Eustis around 3 a.m. He told police that he hit the car in front of him in the drive-thru lane after his foot slipped off the pedal. Police say he was slurring his words and his eyes were bloodshot. He failed a field sobriety test and admitted that he came to the restaurant from a bar. A search also uncovered cannabis oil in Ray's pocket. He was charged with DUI and felony possession of marijuana and held on $6000 bond.

Ray, who reached the top of the Billboard country charts in 2015 with his songs "Kiss You in the Morning" and "Think a Little Less", issued a statement later the same day. He apologized to his fans, family and hometown, and vowed to regain their trust.

A conviction on charges of drunk driving carries serious penalties even on a first offense, and the penalties become more severe on repeat offenses. In Florida, a conviction on a second offense usually includes jail time. Trying to get charges completely dropped is only one possible strategy for someone who has been charged with DUI. An alternative strategy is to work towards getting the charges reduced with the help of an attorney. A first DUI charge could be reduced to a charge of reckless driving. That would result in lighter penalties and no DUI conviction on the driver's record.

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