What if you knew the entire set of consequences that follow a DUI charge, would you still drink and drive? According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, about 30 people die each day in drunk driving-related accidents.
Knowing the detailed consequences might deter drivers from participating in such a risky activity.
The consequences of DUIs are extensive, costly and inconvenient. It’s best to be aware of the effects that follow drinking and driving charges before deciding to get behind the wheel.
Fines/ Jail time: if a cop stops you and suspects that you’ve been drinking, they could subject you to both a field sobriety and a breathalyzer test. If your alcohol level is above the legal limit, the police officer will take you off the road and to the station for booking. You will stay in jail until you pay your bail/ bond.
License suspension/ revocation: if found guilty, your license will be revoked or suspended, depending on factors such as how much over the legal limit you were and how fast you were going, among others.
Work/ school: most schools and workplaces require their prospective applicants to take background checks. This could be a deterrent from college admission or hiring for a job, especially if the position involves driving.
Personal and professional relationships: having a DUI puts a strain on a person’s relationships with their friends, family and coworkers. Family and friends might try to monitor your activities and drinking habits as their way of caring for you. Still, after a while, you might find their behaviors invasive, irritating and judgmental.
Financial instability: DUIs come with a price that includes costs for new transportation, court fines, the entire cost for an ignition interlock system installation, increase in auto insurance rates, among other things.
Community service/ education programs: if charged, alternative sentencing terms will most likely include doing community service or attending educational classes on the dangers of drunk driving.
While these activities are helpful in re-connecting someone back with their community, they could be inconvenient at times since you’d have to limit your activities to comply with the sentencing given.
Probation: other forms of sentencing includes probation where your probation officer monitors your progress and keeps tabs on your activities, whereabouts and whether you’re attending the programs required by your sentencing.
It’s also important to keep in mind that a DUI charge stays on your record forever in the state of Washington. The first seven years are the most impactful as they can hinder both your personal and professional life.