Alcohol and cars play major roles in American culture. On their own, each contributes to help people socialize and even make a living. When combined, however, they create a lot of risk for the public.
The statistical correlation between alcohol consumption before driving and the likelihood of a severe motor vehicle collision is one of the reasons that there are laws prohibiting drunk driving. Anyone accused of driving under the influence (DUI) could face criminal charges, the loss of their license and other secondary consequences.
Even if you don’t cause property damage or hurt anyone and instead get arrested during a traffic stop, a DUI charge could result in life-altering consequences. What are ways a DUI will affect your future?
You will lose your license
After the courts convict you or you plead guilty of impaired driving, you will face a mandatory suspension of your license. Any length of license suspension can be damaging for your personal finances.
You may have to pay large amounts to use rideshare or taxi services. If you choose to depend on friends or public transportation, you could end up chronically late for work, which might endanger your employment. If you drive as part of your job, you will likely lose your eligibility for a commercial license even if the DUI occurred in your personal vehicle.
You will face limitations on your professional opportunities
Even if driving isn’t the main part of your job, it could play a role in your position whether you work in sales, training or management. Your current employer and other companies you hope to work for in the future will likely not want to ensure you or put you in a position where you drive on the job if you have a DUI on your record.
In some cases, a DUI conviction could lead to the loss of your professional licensing in an industry other than transportation, like medicine. You will also have a criminal record that will affect how likely you are to get jobs and promotions in the future.
A criminal record won’t just affect your employment
If you have a conviction on your record, it could affect whether you can qualify to rent an apartment, financial opportunities, and even continuing education or college enrollment. You could lose out on federal student aid or no longer qualify for private or school-sponsored scholarship programs.
All of this is an addition to whatever criminal consequences you face, which might include fines and incarceration. You will also face fees when you want to get your license back and much more costly insurance premiums. Fighting back against a DUI, even if it is your first offense, can protect you from years of unfortunate consequences.