A conviction for driving under the influence (DUI) will have some very obvious penalties. For instance, you will lose your license for a while.
Maybe you think that is fine. You can catch a lift to work with a colleague and get your spouse to drive everywhere else. You might even consider not being able to drive a good thing as it will force you to use your bicycle more and get some exercise.
Yet, most people fail to realize the full extent of how the charge can affect your life.
A DUI makes you a criminal
You might not feel like a criminal, but in the strict legal definition, you will be one if convicted of a DUI. Think about how people react to others on finding out they have a criminal record. Now consider that people might react to you in the same way.
Criminal records are ubiquitous in the U.S., with reports estimating around one-third of adults have one. The two-thirds who do not enjoy many advantages that they might not realize. Applying for a job, a voluntary post, housing, or education can all be much easier if your record is clean.
A DUI can leave you poorer
A court can hand you a fine but the financial penalties do not stop there. You may also need to pay for alcohol education programs, license reinstatement fees and more. Then, the next time you decide to renew your car insurance, you will find it has risen dramatically. Insurers charge a premium to insure those with a DUI.
If you feel giving up driving for a while would be a good thing, then do so voluntarily. Don’t wait till a court forces you. If you already face a DUI charge, seek help to understand your legal options to fight it and spare you the unwanted consequences.