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Getting behind the wheel after having a few glasses of wine may seem harmless at the time. The truth of the matter is that driving under the influence endangers you and everyone else on the road.
In addition to the possibility of an auto accident, you also risk an arrest. This type of charge is very serious. There’s a good chance you’ll have to deal with the repercussions for months or even years.
If you’ve received a DUI or often find yourself driving under the influence, keep reading. We’re going over some common drunk driving consequences you may face.
Possible Jail Time
When you’re arrested for a DUI, you’ll have to spend the night in jail. If it’s your first offense, you’ll most likely get out the next day. This is fairly standard practice.
However, getting arrested for drunk driving doesn’t mean you’re charged with a DUI. You’ll have to go to court and either plead guilty or fight for a dismissal.
If the judge finds you guilty, part of your penalty could be jail time. If you have prior DUIs on your record, the chances of doing time increases.
You may also face jail time if your DUI was accompanied by other crimes. For example, if you evaded police when they attempted to pull you over, there’s a good chance you’ll have to serve a jail sentence.
Even if you have a clean record, expect to get placed on probation after a DUI. The judge will set the terms and you’ll have to abide by them or face further penalties. If it’s your second DUI charge, the penalties would be different.
You’ll have to see a probation officer regularly. This can be a huge headache, as you’ll need to take off work each month. Rescheduling these meetings may not be an option.
Depending on your charges and the probation officer you get, you may also have to take a drug test during your appointments. Part of your probation could be to attend alcohol counseling as well.
If you want to avoid a harsh probationary period, working with the Best drunk driving defense attorney in your area is a good idea. They may be able to negotiate for shorter probation.
Make no mistake – a DUI charge is expensive. There are many financial repercussions.
DUIs carry fines in every state. The amount of the fine depends on where you live, your prior record, and the circumstances surrounding your case.
There are also probationary fines you’ll have to pay each month. These will vary based on the facts of your case.
If you lose your license, you’ll have to pay a fee when you’re eligible for reinstatement. There are also general court fees you’ll have to pay.
Higher Insurance Rates
Another financial burden you’ll endure involves your auto insurance. A DUI will cause your premiums to go up.
Insurance providers view DUI offenders as high-risk drivers. This is the same reason they raise rates for someone who has many speeding tickets or drives a high-performance vehicle.
If you receive multiple DUIs, your rates may double for two or three years. Eventually, they’ll decrease as long as you avoid further traffic-related violations.
Some insurance companies drop clients who get charged with DUIs. If this happens, you’ll have to find new coverage and pay higher rates.
Another common penalty for a DUI charge is license revocation. This can make things very difficult for you.
The length and terms of a license revocation depend on your prior record and the circumstances surrounding your arrest. For a second or third DUI, expect your license to get suspended for a long time. Some multiple offenders lose their license for life.
Judges often grant offenders a restricted license. This means you can drive in order to get to and from work. However, if you’re caught driving for any other reason, you’ll lose all driving privileges.
A total license suspension means you’ll have to rely on carpooling or public transportation to get around. You may even have to find alternative ways to get to your probation appointments.
Ignition Interlock Requirement
Many judges require drunk driving offenders to install an ignition interlock device in their car. This piece of equipment prevents the car from starting until the driver blows into a breathalyzer and passes.
If this is part of your penalty, you’ll have to pay for the device. The judge will determine the length of time it must remain in your vehicle.
In the past, people with an ignition interlock device would get a sober person to blow for them. Now, many of these devices have cameras to ensure the offender is the one blowing. Some are also equipped with GPS to track where you are at all times.
The interlock device keeps a log of every use. These logs get sent to your probation officer. If they find a violation, you may incur further penalties.
Even after you’ve completed all required sentencing for a DUI charge, you may still have to deal with consequences down the road. Unfortunately, the charge can follow you around for years.
You may encounter issues when trying to get a job. The fact that you have a DUI on your record could influence an employer’s decision when it’s between you and someone else.
The charge could also affect your ability to rent an apartment or get approved for financial aid. In fact, anything that requires a background check becomes more nerve-wracking.
A DUI can have serious repercussions on your relationships. The charge could cause marital or family issues. You may also lose friends over the event.
Finally, DUI offenders often experience anxiety and depression. If this happens to you, it’s important to reach out to loved ones or seek professional help.
Avoid These Drunk Driving Consequences
A good rule of thumb is to never get behind the wheel if you’ve consumed alcohol. That’s the only surefire way to avoid having to deal with harsh repercussions.
Keep these drunk driving consequences in mind when you’re about to get behind the wheel while intoxicated.
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