There are many consequences to a DUI conviction, but some of the most permanent repercussions have to do with your professional life. If you’re found guilty of driving under the influence, that conviction becomes part of your criminal record, which shows up every time an employer conducts a background check. Some employers don’t have a strict policy when it comes to applicants with a DUI on their record, but some occupations become much harder to obtain. Here are the types of careers affected by DUI convictions. (more…)

Driving is a privilege, but for many people, it’s also a major factor of adult life. This is why losing your license can seriously affect your daily routine. Like many laws, the reasons why you might lose your license vary from state to state. While some—such as driving under the influence or neglecting your car insurance—may seem obvious, there are other ways to lose your license that you may not have thought of before. Some don’t even have anything to do with your driving history. Find out some of the most common ways to get your driver’s license suspended with this overview. (more…)

College students lead stressful lives. Between classes, homework, extracurriculars, and part-time jobs, it’s easy to understand why these young adults would want to kick back and have a few drinks with some friends. However, like all people, college students face severe, life-changing repercussions if they decide to mix drinking with driving. Here are some of the consequences of getting a DUI in college.

Campus Consequences

If the police arrest you for a DUI, they will report it to your college, and you’ll face additional consequences there. If you have a scholarship through the university, they might revoke that funding. Depending on your college’s policies, you might also lose your right to on-campus housing. Many organizations—including athletic teams and Greek life—will also kick members out after a DUI charge. Most importantly, a DUI conviction can lead to expulsion. No matter what your school’s policies are, you will certainly face serious consequences for getting a DUI in college.

Professional Consequences

A DUI affects your permanent record. This means it will come up on every job, internship, or graduate school application, as well as on any background checks throughout the rest of your professional life. Certain careers become difficult to pursue after a DUI. For example, obtaining the credentials and licenses to practice medicine or law will be much harder. Drunk driving can also disqualify you from careers such as teaching or working for the government.

Legal Consequences

Finally, as legal adults, college students face the same legal consequences of a DUI as everyone else. A DUI charge might lead to expensive fines and court fees, jail time, and sentences such as community service or alcohol education programs. Most of the time, you will also lose your license during the process. In many states, you must obtain SR22 insurance to reinstate your license. This means your auto insurance rates will go up, which can lead to financial problems down the road.

Fortunately, you don’t have to face these consequences alone. While DUI consequences are severe, they don’t have to be the end of the world. A DUI lawyer can help you navigate the charges, and Serenity Group can help you obtain the necessary SR22 insurance in Colorado or any other state where you’re attending school.

Driving under the influence is a serious offense that leads to serious consequences. If you’re facing a DUI conviction, the penalties will depend on where you live, how serious the offense was, what other violations you’ve committed, and other details. Here are some of the potential consequences of a DUI charge. (more…)

A DUI charge, also known as driving under the influence, is a serious offense that can majorly impact on your life. However, there are a lot of myths that surround drunk driving charges. If you find yourself in a situation involving a DUI, it’s important that you know the difference between fact and fiction. Stay knowledgeable and informed with these common misconceptions about DUIs.

You Can’t Contest a DUI Charge

Dealing with the law can be tricky, and it’s easy to think that a DUI charge automatically means you’re guilty. If an officer suspects you of driving under the influence, they’ll arrest you and hold you at the station until you sober up or pay bail—but this is not actually a conviction. When you’re arrested for a DUI, you have a chance to plead not guilty in a court hearing. This gives you a chance to reduce your charges or even have your entire case thrown out. You are not convicted of a DUI until you either lose or fail to show up at your hearing.

The BAC Report is Final

If a police officer pulls you over for drunk driving, they will administer a sobriety test to figure out your blood alcohol content. This will likely include blowing into a breathalyzer, which measures chemical content in the breath to estimate your blood alcohol content. These tests aren’t always accurate. Because breathalyzers don’t measure the amount of alcohol in the bloodstream, they can guess your current blood alcohol content. Other factors, such as human error and certain medical conditions, can also result in inaccurate results. Without a blood test, there’s no way to accurately determine your blood alcohol content.

You Can Trick a Sobriety Test

While breathalyzers and other field sobriety tests don’t always give accurate results, that doesn’t mean you can trick them into giving a false negative. For example, it’s a common myth that if you suck on a penny, it will increase your chances of passing a breathalyzer test. This is false. It’s also untrue that you can sober up faster by drinking coffee or splashing cold water on your face. These tricks might make a sober person more alert, but they do nothing to help alcohol impairment. Time is the only real way to sober up, and the only guaranteed way to avoid a DUI is to not drink and drive.

A DUI Guarantees Jail Time

While the arresting officer will take you to the station until you sober up or pay bail, a DUI charge does not automatically mean a prison sentence. As always, you can contest the charge and plead not guilty—if you succeed, you’ll avoid jail time altogether. However, depending on where you live, jail time is still a possibility if you’re found guilty. Many states have mandatory minimum sentences for DUIs, and some have a prison sentence—even for first-time offenders. Nonetheless, a DUI charge is not a guaranteed prison sentence. From alternatives such as community service or alcohol education programs, it’s worth carefully considering your options during your court case.

A DUI is a Minor Conviction

While you might not necessarily go to prison for a DUI, it’s also not something you should take lightly. Many people believe DUIs are a traffic offense, but they’re actually a criminal offense and therefore can have much more serious consequences. Even with no previous criminal record, a DUI conviction can lead to a suspended license, steep fines, and potential jail time. A DUI also stays on your criminal record, which means that it can still cause you problems years after the conviction.

“I’ll Drive Carefully”

One of the most common misconceptions about DUIs is also one of the most dangerous: many people believe they can still get behind the wheel after a few drinks as long as they drive carefully. What they forget is that alcohol impairs your judgment as well as your vision, coordination, and reaction time. Even if you think you’re driving carefully, you probably aren’t, and anything can happen on the road. You might avoid hurting anyone or damaging property, but if a cop pulls you over and finds out you’re drunk, they will still charge you with driving under the influence.

You Have to Take the Test

It’s important to know your rights, even when you get pulled over. If an officer asks you to take a field sobriety test, you’re allowed to refuse. Depending on your state, you might also be able to refuse a breathalyzer test. Keep in mind that an officer can still arrest you and take away your license if they believe you’re intoxicated. Additionally, the fact that you refused a test might be used against you in a court hearing. Know your rights and the rules in your state so you can make the best judgment call if the need arises.

DUIs Only Apply to Cars

When you think of a DUI, there’s a good chance cars come to mind. Yet a DUI charge can apply to any motor vehicle. If you’re spending the day out on a boat, exploring on an ATV, or operating any other vehicle, you can still be charged with driving under the influence. This is why it’s important to have a sober driver, no matter where you go or how you plan on getting there.

A DUI is the End of the World

Admittedly, a DUI conviction can seem pretty bleak. Between the fines, possible jail time, and losing your driving privileges, a DUI greatly affects your life. However, these charges don’t have to ruin everything. For many people, this is the wake-up call they need to turn their lives around and get help—and there are many ways to do just that. Reach out to friends and family or seek help from a professional counselor. You can also get help with the more technical side of things. There are many companies, such as Serenity Group, that are here to advocate for you throughout the entire process. If you need SR22 insurance in Washington or any of our other service areas, Serenity Group has the tools to help you figure out the best solution for your situation. With the right help and information, you can make it through this process and return to your normal life.

9 of the Most Common Misconceptions about DUIs infographic

For many people, alcohol is simply something used to unwind or further enjoy a night out on the town. Unfortunately, there are others who rely more and more heavily on alcohol until it turns into an addiction. This dependency is dangerous to all aspects of life, from your wallet to your physical health. Understanding the impact this can have on you or a loved one is the first step to identifying the problem and seeking help. Learn more about how alcoholism affects your entire life with this overview. (more…)

There are various factors that go into car insurance rates. Insurance providers consider your driving record, your vehicle type, where you live, and many, many more elements when calculating your premium. However, one of the most important factors companies consider is age. Here’s how your age impacts car insurance rates throughout your life as a driver.

Teens

Insurance premiums are largely decided on how much potential risk is associated with a driver. With that in mind, it makes sense for teenagers—who are far less experienced behind the wheel—to have more expensive rates. The average insurance rate for teenagers is significantly higher than for any other age group. A 16-year-old with a brand-new license might pay over $1500 on a 6-month insurance premium, depending on where they live and who their provider is.

Young Adults

Once you reach your 20s, car insurance rates start to decline—especially when you hit age 22 and older. However, because they still don’t have an extensive driving history, premiums for drivers in their early 20s are still higher than those of older adults.

As always, these rates can go up after an accident or traffic violation. Additionally, once drivers reach the legal drinking age, they may be more likely to drink and drive. The resulting DUI may lead to an SR22 insurance requirement, which can raise your rates significantly depending on where you live. For example, the rates for SR22 insurance in Denver might be different than rates for the same situation in Las Vegas. Fortunately, you can keep your premium as low as possible by shopping around and taking time to find the best policy for your situation.

Adults

Car insurance rates drop significantly in your late 20s, and drivers enjoy the lowest average premiums throughout their 30s, 40s, and 50s. Of course, these rates still rely on other factors such as gender, location, and a clean driving record. Nonetheless, when it comes to how your age impacts car insurance rates, adults benefit the most. With their longer driving history and more stable circumstances—including marriage, a house, and a steady job—insurance providers view adults as the most responsible drivers and therefore the least risky to insure.

Seniors

Rates increase again once a driver reaches their 60s. This period of life can come with a lot of major changes—such as retirement or downsizing a home after the kids have moved out—that can influence your insurance policy. Several physical factors cause insurance providers to view senior drivers as riskier clients. Impaired vision, arthritis, and regular medications can all affect you behind the wheel. Despite this, senior drivers still pay less than young adults and teenagers.

One of the most common consequences of a DUI is losing your right to drive. In most cases, the state will suspend your license after you receive a DUI conviction. This means you’re going to want to do everything you can to get your license and freedom back as soon as possible. While there are a few steps to the process, it helps to know what your requirements are and how you should meet them. Here’s our guide for how to reinstate your license after a DUI.

Fulfill Requirements

Conviction of a DUI often involves court dates and processes. You will likely have the chance to appeal the case in a court hearing. However, if you don’t request a hearing or you fail to attend one, the state will suspend your license until you fulfill all court requirements. These vary depending on where you live. You might have to pay fines, participate in alcohol education programs or driving classes, or install an ignition interlock device in your car. Whatever your requirements are, meeting them is the first step to getting your license back.

Figure out Insurance

Almost every state requires a certificate of financial responsibility, otherwise known as SR22 insurance, to prove you have auto insurance after your DUI. When looking for SR22 insurance, it’s important to shop around to make sure you have the best policy and provider for your situation. You can look online for SR22 rates to find the right plan for you. It’s important to remember you must maintain SR22 insurance for as long as your state requires it—typically around three years. If you let your policy lapse in that time, your license will become suspended and you’ll have to start your SR22 insurance over again.

Head to the DMV

Once you fulfill all the court and state requirements and have your SR22 insurance, there’s one more task you’ll need to complete. The final step on how to reinstate your license after a DUI is to go to your local Department of Motor Vehicles. There will likely be a reinstatement fee for you to pay. Once you do this, the DMV will give you back your license and your freedom to get back on the road.

For many people, driving is a major part of everyday life. From commuting to work to picking up friends or family, we often get into our cars without a second thought about potential driving dangers. Fortunately, you can reduce that danger by practicing safer habits behind the wheel. Here are eight tips for becoming a safer driver for you, your family, and everyone else you meet on the road. (more…)

Vacations are a time to kick back and have fun—especially if you’re visiting somewhere out of state. For many people, a night out includes plenty of good food and drinks, but things can get difficult if you don’t drink responsibly. While you may know the DUI laws in your own state, things can get a little more complicated when you’re pulled over elsewhere. Here’s what happens if you get an out-of-state DUI.

What Happens in the State of the Arrest?

After you’re pulled over for driving under the influence, the arresting officer will report the incident to that state’s Department of Motor Vehicles. Your license will be temporarily suspended in that state as the case goes to court or you request a hearing to appeal the charges. If you lose or fail to attend a hearing, the suspension becomes final; you’ll have to face that state’s consequences in order to reinstate your license.

What Happens in Your Home State?

The state of the arrest will notify your state when you’re convicted of a DUI or DWI. Your home state can uphold the other state’s consequences or enforce their own requirements—often, you’ll have to face whichever laws are more severe. The arresting state will also report your suspended license to the National Driver Registry, which means you won’t be able to reinstate your license in any state until you’ve met your requirements.

Possible Consequences

Apart from having your license suspended, there are many possible consequences of a DUI or DWI conviction. You might have to pay court fines or a reinstatement fee when you’re allowed to get your license back. If you don’t meet any additional requirements put forth by the court or state—such as fines or DUI safety education programs—your license can remain suspended indefinitely. Some states even require jail time after a DUI. There are long-term consequences as well. After a DUI conviction, your auto insurance rates might increase, as you’re now a high-risk driver. The court or state might also require you to file for SR22 insurance. For example, you may need help securing SR22 insurance in Las Vegas. If you need SR22 insurance, talk to Serenity Group today—we can help.

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