Almost everyone has heard the term “driving under the influence,” or DUI. Although warnings not to drink and drive may seem overdone or repetitive, driving under the influence is a serious problem with serious consequences.
DUI is the most common criminal offense in America, yet many people don’t realize the consequences of committing this crime. Perhaps if these consequences were better understood, fewer people would drive while drunk.
Even if your crime is categorized as a misdemeanor, the offense might go on your permanent record and remain there for several years. That alone should be warning enough, but now think about this in the context of applying for a new job. When your future employer runs a background check, your conviction will pop up. This can of course raise red flags to a potential employer, but this is especially so if you verbally stated to an employer that they wouldn’t encounter any issues during a background check while being unaware that a DUI even shows up at all. Do you really want the embarrassment of having to tell your potential employer during an interview that they may see a DUI conviction during a background check? No. A DUI record will reduce your options for future employment. Period.
When the time comes to finance large purchases, such as a house or car, a previous DUI may come back to haunt you. If you don’t pay your fines from a DUI conviction, your credit will be negatively affected because you will be categorized as in violation of probation. Do you want something on your record indicating you might be untrustworthy to show up for someone looking into loaning you money? Obviously not.
To make matters worse, after a DUI, your insurance fees typically increase. According to CarInsurance.com, insurance costs increase by 80% on average after receiving a DUI conviction. In the worst-case scenario, and depending on your state of residence, your insurance costs could potentially increase by 371 percent.
The period of probation for a DUI can be longer than jail sentences. A DUI may result in having an ignition interlock device installed in your car for a year or more. An ignition interlock device is like a breathalyzer; it measures the alcohol percentage in a person’s system. If your alcohol percentage exceeds a pre-programmed level, the interlock device on your car will temporarily prevent you from starting the ignition.
Receiving a DUI involves long-term consequences much more serious than merely having to pay a fine. Please follow the rules and drive safely.
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