One of the most challenging traffic infractions you can face is a driving under the influence (DUI) charge. Safe driving is critical to ensuring the well-being of yourself and other drivers on the road.
When you choose to drink and drive, you directly place yourself at risk while ignoring the danger you pose to others. Worse yet, if you live in a state with implied consent laws then you must submit for alcohol testing if you are pulled over and this greatly increases the odds of a DUI charge sticking.
Driving under the influence is incredibly reckless and all it takes is one mistake one time to permanently change your life. Speaking of consequences, many come along with a DUI charge. Let’s dive into those now so you can prioritize good decisions and eliminate any desire to drink and drive.
The most obvious ramification of a DUI charge is driving restrictions.
There are several important laws you must follow every time you operate a car. Some rules are more significant than others and therefore carry heavier consequences.
DUIs in particular are viewed as one of the worst offenses you can make because the potential for property damage, bodily injuries, and even death skyrocket. Driving in an inebriated state of mind translates to poor judgment, decision-making, and practical execution that results in accidents at a far higher and more serious rate than sober driving.
Because of this, your ability to drive moving forward is significantly impaired. Public roads are dangerous enough and the last thing society needs is a driver that willingly endangers others by driving drunk.
When it comes to a DUI charge, your license is almost always revoked for at least a year for the first offense. Should you receive additional charges, the period of suspension will increase. With enough repeat offenses, your license and ability to drive can be terminated indefinitely.
Once you can drive again, you’ll also likely have to deal with an ignition interlock device. This is an added level of physical security on your car that will require you to test your blood alcohol level before your car will turn on.
Ignition interlock devices are often costly and highly inconvenient to drive with. There is also the possibility of error when using the device and incorrectly blowing results that prevent you from driving.
Because driving under the influence is one of the worst driving violations, you should expect the harshest penalties for your ability to drive in the future.
In addition to obstacles barring your ability to drive, a DUI charge will also result in serious legal repercussions. This will include potential jail time, community service, and fines. The exact extent of these will depend on the state you were arrested in and whether or not this is your first offense.
Generally, first offenders will face anywhere from a few days to a year in jail depending on how severe the offense was and if damage or death was involved. Some states have a mandatory minimum jail time for DUIs while others do not.
The amount you are fined can be anywhere from a few hundred to multiple thousand dollars. Add on any court fees, processing legal documents, or working with a lawyer and the total cost of a DUI can quickly add up.
This all means that driving under the influence is breaking the law and the police will punish you accordingly in the form of jail time and mandatory fines.
Another serious side-effect of receiving a DUI is the logistical struggles that go along with it.
In particular, you may have issues with employment, housing, and any other activity that will necessitate a background check. Once you have a DUI charge, it will stay on your record and pop up when someone conducts a background check on you.
As you can expect, this can result in extremely negative consequences when you show up as a criminal. Future employers will be nervous to work with you and landlords won’t think twice about finding someone else to rent their property.
Making matters worse, there’s a great chance of losing your existing job due to being unable to attend and complete your work if you’re in jail or unable to drive. This will only compound your difficulties and cause a deficit you’ll have a hard time getting out of.
With this in mind, a DUI means more than just the consequences imposed by the law. You’ll also face issues in your career and housing situation as a DUI charge makes you look unreliable.
A final important outcome of receiving a DUI is the social implication it has on you.
Being arrested for any crime is a bad look and people don’t want to be associated with wrongdoing, crime, or any nefarious behaviors. Even if you feel like you have a good excuse for your mistakes, others won’t and they will distance themselves from you.
When you make bad choices in your life, you can be seen as a bad influence. Friends and family members will disagree with your choices and limit their interactions with you.
While the immediate aftermath of a DUI arrest will turn people away, so too will the period of you dealing with your new restrictions and challenges. Others may get tired of hearing and dealing with your situation when they carefully avoid the behavior that would place them in the situation you are in.
When you’re arrested for a DUI, it’s clear to everyone around that you aren’t making good decisions in life. Your friends and family want to be surrounded by like-minded people, so your poor behavior can quickly result in broken and lost relationships.
DUI charges are incredibly costly. Not only will you have your finances impacted, but you’ll face serious losses and difficulties in other aspects of your life.
Specifically, DUI charges result in driving restrictions, legal repercussions, logistical struggles, and negative social implications. These consequences will vary depending on the state you are arrested in, whether this is the first offense, and how serious the offense was.
Because a DUI is irreversible, you must prioritize preventing yourself from ever being arrested. Driving while drunk is never safe or okay and it will ruin your life. Calling a friend or a taxi is far cheaper and more convenient than sobering up in a jail cell and realizing the mistake you’ve made.