Consequences of Drunk Driving
Driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious criminal offense. It is also a major cause of death and injuries. Many states have strict laws that prohibit driving while intoxicated, including DUI penalties for drivers who drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at or above a certain level.
The consequences of drunk driving vary from state to state and can linger for years. These consequences can include driver’s license revocation, court-mandated community service, fines, and even jail time.
In addition to the legal ramifications, there are emotional, financial and social effects of being arrested or convicted of a drunk driving charge. These can impact personal relationships, employment and scholarship programs.
Insurance – A conviction of a DUI may mean that you lose your current insurance policy or have to pay an extremely high premium. A DUI conviction also stays on your record for many years, which could make it more difficult to find a new insurer in the future.
Job – A conviction of a DUI can prevent you from being hired for a number of jobs, including trucking and sales positions. In addition, it can be a hindrance to you if you are applying for jobs that require you to drive, such as pizza delivery or cab driving.
Family – A DUI arrest and conviction can impact your personal relationships, as friends and family members may want to talk about it with you. They may be concerned about your health and safety and ask you about your drinking or other related issues, which can create uncomfortable situations.
College – Some schools do not accept applicants who have a DUI on their records and may deny or revoke scholarships.
Medical – A DUI conviction can affect your medical and dental health as well. Medications may be stopped, and you could be denied access to certain types of treatment or services.
Property Damage – A DUI conviction can also result in damage to your vehicle. The amount of damage caused depends on the circumstances surrounding the accident and how serious it was.
Loss of Life and Injuries – Drunk driving can lead to injury or death of passengers in the other vehicles involved in an accident. This can be very tragic, and a person who has been involved in a drunk driving crash will likely live with the trauma and grief forever.
Getting a First-Time Offense On Your Record
Most first-time DUI offenders face misdemeanor charges. Some states even offer first-time offender diversion programs that allow them to complete community service or other tasks while avoiding jail time and fines.
These programs may be mandatory or voluntary, and they can range from 20 to 40 hours of community service and participation in alcohol abuse education classes.
You may also be required to install an ignition interlock device on your car, which will prevent you from starting the car if you have a BAC above a certain level. You could also lose your driver’s license if you are a repeat offender, or if the offense was committed with a minor in the car.