The number of people who insist on driving after drinking is on the rise across the United States. Many drivers believe that they can get away with getting behind the wheel after a beer or two. However, driving under the influence comes with huge repercussions, perhaps larger than you can even fathom.
Tacoma criminal defense lawyer, Mark Treyz, says that DUIs are one of the most common criminal offenses in America. Often times, drivers who have a completely clean record receive a DUI and it not only changes their auto insurance price but their entire life as well.
The short-term ramifications of a DUI charge are typically well known. A few of these include license suspension, fees and fines, higher insurance prices, and potentially jail time. However, it doesn’t stop there. Even after you pay off your fines and regain your ability to drive, a DUI charge will affect your personal life.
Here are a few long-term consequences that come with getting a DUI conviction.
1: A Long Term Driver’s License Suspension
It is possible that a judge could revoke your driver’s license for up to 2 years after your first DUI conviction. The loss of freedom could affect how you get to school, to work, and much more. You will need to get up earlier and find other means of getting to school or work without being late. It could also have other effects; for example, if the job that you are currently at requires you to drive, you would lose that job. Losing your ability to drive will make you more reliant on others. You will need someone to take you when you need to run errands, attend a social activity, or a doctor’s visit.
2: Employment or Scholarships
When you apply for a new job, many of them require you to go through a background check before getting hired. Your DUI conviction will appear when they do this. This could severely decrease your odds of getting that job. Even if you are the perfect candidate, one that surpasses all their requirements, it is likely that they will pass you up for someone with a clean record.
This is also true for scholarship applicants. Many organizations or companies that give away scholarships want to support someone who has a good track record, big aspirations, solid grades, and most importantly, no criminal record. You might be able to explain to them how you’ve changed since receiving the DUI conviction, but if they have other qualified applicants, the odds are very low that they will choose you.
If you are in the market to rent a new apartment or condo, they will also require you to do a basic credit and background check. Since it is usually pretty competitive to get a good apartment, the landlord will probably want to go with a tenant that has a clean record.
If you are applying for a home, we recommend that you try to speak to the landlord about your DUI and explain to them what happened. Show them the person that you are not your conviction and that you are working to improve yourself and your felony status.
4: Personal Relationships
Whether we like to admit it or not, there is a stigma that comes with having a criminal record. You may worry about what your loved ones now think about you and about the disappointment that you think that they feel. It is also possible that you feel shame and embarrassment.
This may also affect your romantic relationships as having a DUI felony may make it difficult for you to make strides toward your future. It is also possible that your significant other’s family may not like that you have a criminal record. However, despite all this, it is important to remember that your loved ones support you and only want to see you improve after the conviction.
It is impossible to know how long your DUI felony can truly affect your life. Avoid getting one by never going behind the wheel, even if you’ve only had one drink. If you want to know what your blood alcohol level is at all times, you can get a professional Breathalyzer. This will allow you to stay informed. However, we still insist that you should never drink and drive, even if it's only been a small amount of alcohol.