A considerable portion of road accident statistics in the United States, and probably all over the world, is caused by driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs. But even with the data provided by the authorities, there are still folks who continue to commit this violation. Perhaps, some people underestimate the effects of alcohol and drugs on their driving abilities. They don’t believe that a few bottles of beer or a couple of tequila shots would impair their driving skills.
Only when you get arrested for a DUI offense and spend a night in jail will you realize that it’s a serious violation. Even if it’s your first offense and you’re charged only with a misdemeanor that doesn’t require jail time, the impact of DUI on your career, finances, and even relationships could be hard to ignore.
Despite a conviction, however, you shouldn’t despair. There’s still life after DUI. Here are five things you need to know and prepare for after a DUI conviction.
Higher Car Insurance Rates
A DUI conviction will be in your record, even if it’s just the first offense. So, the next time you apply for car insurance coverage, your record will show that you’re a high-risk driver. Therefore, insurance companies will most likely ask you for higher premiums. Those who are repeat offenders might even get declined by insurance companies.
If you’ve been convicted of DUI or reckless driving, you may need to apply for an SR22 insurance form. This document will prove your auto insurance has the minimum coverage required by law in your state. The best thing you can do is shop around and do additional reading to find the best insurance that’ll get you covered despite your bad driving record.
Be Prepared To Shell Out Money For Fines And Fees
The moment you get arrested for DUI, even if you’re facing a misdemeanor charge, you should accept the fact that you’ll be shelling out a lot of money to pay for fines, legal and court fees, car impoundment fines, and many others. Hopefully, the cumulative cost of driving under the influence will teach you about the folly of driving while intoxicated by drugs or alcohol.
Get Used To Interlock Devices
Another inconvenience that you’re bound to face for your offense is installing an ignition interlock device in your vehicle. In many states, DUI violations would require you to use this device for several months. If you’re a repeat DUI offender, you may be required to use this system for a year or more.
However, a study on the effectiveness of interlocks has shown that these devices can help bring down the number of fatal crashes committed by impaired drivers by at least 16%.
Suspension Or Revocation Of Driving License
Arresting officers can suspend your driver’s license immediately after you fail a chemical breath test or if you’re under suspicion of DUI. This administrative action hopes to prevent people from committing DUI violations in the future.
If you have repeatedly violated DUI laws or committed a severe violation, the authorities could make your offense a felony instead of a misdemeanor, even if it’s your first time. When that happens, your license may be revoked. But if you’re facing a felony that comes with steep fines, harsh penalties, or even jail time, the revocation of your driver’s license will seem to be the least of your worries.
Get Used To Regular Background Checks
A background check is a fact of life. Everyone who wants to take out a loan, seek employment, apply for financial aid, or even rent a house usually agrees to have their records checked. Unfortunately, DUI misdemeanors or felonies typically stay in your record unless you request for them to be expunged. But some states don’t allow the removal of DUI violations from a person’s records. Although having such a criminal record may not disqualify you from getting a prime apartment or even securing a loan, it may make things harder for you.
While having a DUI offense in your record may not bar you from getting employed, some employers may not be inclined to hire or keep you after they learn of your DUI conviction. So, for example, you’re a truck driver and have been slapped with DUI, there’s a big chance that you’ll have your license suspended and you could even lose your means of livelihood.
Attend Drunk Driving Programs Or Support Groups
Courts typically require repeat DUI offenders to undergo stringent evaluation of their alcohol and drug use. Depending on the assessment, the courts may require DUI violators to join support groups or programs to help address alcohol or substance abuse.
If you have a drug or alcohol problem, you can make the most out of these classes or programs so you’ll learn from your mistakes and, hopefully, don’t commit any more DUI violations.
If you ever get convicted of driving while intoxicated, your life will drastically change. Among other things, your auto insurance coverage will get more expensive. If you’re classified as a high-risk driver, you must find an insurance provider that gives you coverage despite your driving record.