You’ve probably heard countless public service announcements and seen just as many commercials addressing the dangers of driving while intoxicated. What you may not have seen are the many reasons why it’s such a bad idea and the various consequences you may face as a result of driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs. Intoxicated driving is not a victimless crime. That is why the penalties can be so harsh. Below are just a few of the consequence you may face for driving under the influence.
Even a first offense can net you up to six months of jail time in most states. Depending on your blood alcohol content, that time could be higher in some states. Future arrests for DUI can result in even longer jail sentences.
If you think you have money problems before getting caught driving while intoxicated, just wait until afterwards. Legal fines alone can be anywhere from $500 to $2,000 and that doesn’t include attorney fees, court fees, or judgments against you if you were involved in an accident.
Suspension of License
Even first time offenders can face a driver’s license suspension of up to 90 days. Repeat offenders could have harsher penalties up to three years in many states.
If you are in an accident and someone is injured, whether you caused the accident or not, the fact that you were driving impaired may result in civil penalties and judgments against you. The more property that is damaged or the more severe the injuries of the other part may be, the greater your liability in the accident may be.
Insurance companies, by nature, are risk averse. A DUI conviction could result in high risk rates or outright cancellation from your insurance provider.
Loss of Job/Career Consequences
If you have a job that involves driving, you may be forced to switch careers as the result of a DUI conviction. It will be nearly impossible to obtain or renew a commercial driving license after such an event. Jobs that require background checks or security clearances may also be at risk as a result.
All of the other consequences pale in comparison to the emotional trauma of living with the knowledge that you caused traumatic injury to someone or that your actions, under the influence, caused someone else their life.
Driving after drinking can cause all of these consequences and more. The best decision you can make is to make sure you never make this particular mistake.