5 Ways A DUI Can Affect Your Life

The impact of a DUI on your life, and the lives of other people, can be extensive and profound. Here are five significant ways in which a DUI can affect your life -- in both the short and the long term.

  1. Immediate Effects of a DUI - The more immediate effects of being charged and convicted of a DUI are somewhat apparent, but bear mentioning for those individuals who may have yet to face this type of charge. The sanctions for a DUI conviction in most states are progressive. What this means is that after being charged with a DUI one time, the penalties associated with a conviction become far more serious if convicted again.If you are convicted of a DUI, you can face the prospect of jail time, particularly after having one prior conviction. Fines can be hefty, even on a first time DUI. You will likely lose your driver's license for a period of time, a period that increases with each successive conviction.You may be required to utilize an interlock device on your vehicle. This device measures the presence of alcohol. You are not able to operate your vehicle if alcohol is detected. The presence of alcohol will be reported to authorities that are monitoring your compliance with driving and not drinking.
  2. Employment/Education Related Fallout - Many people charged with a DUI face employment consequences. Many more people face these types of problems if convicted. One basic employment related issue stemming from a DUI is restrictions on your ability to drive. If you have a job that requires driving, that is a serious issue. However, even if you are not required to drive on the job, getting to your place of employment can become challenging.The impact of driving on your employment is far from the only issue you may face. The reality is that your professional reputation may be put at risk. Whether it be at your current position on a job hunt, you may have to disclose a DUI conviction, depending on the criteria used by a current or prospective employer. This could greatly limit your ability to obtain or maintain a working position.
  3. Civil Lawsuit - Another potential consequence associated with a DUI is the possibility of someone else being injured because you drove while intoxicated. In such a situation, you may not only face the probability of criminal charges, but the very real possibility of civil consequences as well that could require the services of not only a criminal lawyer, but a DC personal injury lawyerAlthough criminal prosecution for DUI can be a hard experience in many ways, you cannot minimize how challenging and life altering a civil suit is when someone else is injured because of your conduct while driving.
  4. Automobile Insurance - Following a DUI charge and conviction, you may see your automobile insurance cancelled. You definitely will see an increase in rate. If your insurance is cancelled, you very well may have a challenging time finding replacement coverage. A new policy will come with higher premiums, likely significantly so.
  5. Personal Relationships - People charged and convicted with a DUI oftentimes do not appreciate the impact this type of situation has on personal relationships. The reality is that a DUI charge, let alone conviction, can negatively impact your closest relationships, including with your family and your significant other.
  6. Scholarship Programs - If you are a college or university student, or will soon be one, a DUI conviction can jeopardize your ability to keep or get a scholarship. Some institutions of higher education have a zero tolerance policy in regard to a DUI and a scholarship. This particularly is the case if a person has been charged more than one time with DUI.

Cohen & Cohen PC

Thanks to our friends and contributors from Cohen & Cohen, P.C. for their added insight into the potential consequences of a DUI.