Too often people are caught drinking and driving, then charged with driving under the influence, more commonly known as DUI. In fact, DUIs are the most common criminal charges in the United States. After a few drinks, a normally cautious driver might think that they are okay to get behind the wheel — a decision that will change their lives forever.
Receiving a DUI for drinking and driving can have lasting repercussions, even if no accidents or injuries occur as a result of someone driving under the influence. It’s important to understand the long-term effects of drinking and driving and DUI charges so that you can avoid facing these ramifications.
Drinking and Driving: the Long-Term Impacts of a DUI
Loss of Driver’s License
If you are charged with a DUI for drinking and driving, your driver’s license can be revoked for up to two years for your first conviction. Losing your license will cause personal and social frustrations. Imagine not being able to run errands when you need to, or being cut off from friends and family unless they can travel to you. If you live in a suburban or rural area that does not offer much public transportation, you would have little options for getting around as needed. Next time you consider drinking and driving, consider how losing your license will affect you.
Without your license, you may have difficulty driving to work, which could result in the loss of your job — especially if it is a position that requires you to drive. Even if you do not lose your license, you may have to miss work to attend court, serve time in prison, or complete community service as a result of your DUI conviction. Furthermore, your DUI could place a strain on your work relationships and damage your professional reputation. In these ways, your drinking and driving might cause you to lose your existing job.
DUIs gained from drinking and driving can also make it more difficult for you to get a new job. Since most employers use criminal background checks before hiring applicants, a DUI charge for drinking and driving that appears on your record can prevent you from being hired — or at least put you at a disadvantage to other applicants who have no convictions.
Landlords and property management groups also use criminal background checks to evaluate applicants, meaning your drinking and driving record could prevent you from renting a nice home or apartment.
Your auto insurance rates will also soar after you DUI conviction, proving the costly effects of drinking and driving. Once you receive a DUI, you’re marked a “high-risk” driver by your insurance companies, leading to doubled or tripled insurance rates that won’t go down for a few years. Your insurance company could even elect to end your coverage altogether.
After an arrest for drinking and driving, you may face criticism from family or friends, as well as feelings of shame. Some friends or family may even suspect you have a drinking problem, which can cause resentment if you feel you have your alcohol intake under control. You may lose touch with friends or relatives who want to distance themselves from you.
Scholarships & Education
If you are a young adult caught drinking and driving, a DUI can affect your ability to get scholarships or even admission into college. Some universities do not accept applicants with DUIs. Even if you are accepted, you may be denied new scholarships — or, if you are currently enrolled, have your existing scholarships revoked. If you are student athlete caught drinking and driving, you may face suspension or expulsion from your team, which can ruin your chances at a professional athletic career.
As a result of a felony DUI conviction, you can lose your voting rights, the right to purchase a gun, and the right to get a passport. Plus, you can be declared ineligible for government assistance such as federal housing. If you’re a non-US citizen convicted of drinking and driving, you can even be deported.
Get Help With DUI Charges
If you were caught drinking and driving, you might suffer the long-term effects of DUI conviction unless you seek out legal help. A DUI can hurt you more in the long run, even after you’ve paid off your fines and completed community service. If you’ve been arrested for a DUI due to drinking and driving, call Daniel C. Miller Attorney at (816) 875-0470 today.