Driving drunk comes with severe consequences, no matter where you live in the United States – and for a good reason. While drunk driving fatalities have fallen in the last few decades, impaired drivers still take one life every 50 minutes in America – sometimes their own life. In Texas, someone is injured or killed by a crash involving alcohol every 20 minutes.
But even if driving while intoxicated doesn’t result in tragedy, the ramifications of a DUI charge can have a detrimental impact on virtually every aspect of your life. Should law enforcement pull you over and charge you for DUI, here are a few ways your decision to get behind the wheel can haunt you for years to come.
According to one survey, 95% of employers reported using at least one type of employment background screening on job applicants. A misdemeanor or felony DUI will appear on criminal background checks and may prevent you from securing a job. A DUI could also get you fired from your current job, especially in a profession where your reputation is on the line, such as a doctor or teacher.
Increased insurance costs
A DUI on your driving record suggests that you are a risky driver to car insurance providers. Depending on the severity of your charges, your insurers may increase your monthly rates, require you to purchase high-risk insurance or potentially cancel your coverage altogether.
Hefty fines and expenses
On top of losing your license and possible jail time, a DUI charge comes with some significant expenses. You’ll likely be paying for bail, court costs and legal fees, license reinstatement fees, DUI education courses, towing or impound costs and ignition interlock installation fees – depending on your offense. One survey found that the total overall cost of a first DUI offense with no collision can range from $9,000 to $24,000.
A DUI may damage your reputation professionally and socially. After an arrest, your charge will be public record and easily accessible to anyone online. You may face shame and embarrassment when friends and loved ones learn of your offense. It may prove challenging to earn back the trust and respect of your family and peers.
A DUI charge requires offenders to pay the price in more ways than one. The next time you face the decision to drive drunk or call a cab, consider everything you have to lose and the impact of your choices.