How a DUI Can Affect More Than Your Ability To Drive
Drinking and driving is a serious offense that comes with many severe and long-lasting consequences. When people think of the repercussions of a DUI, they often think about losing their license and the ability to legally drive. This is a serious consequence that can make even the simplest tasks inconvenient, time-consuming, and expensive. However, losing your license is just one of the many ways a DUI affects your life. Drinking and driving creates a ripple effect that impacts your professional life, personal relationships, and everything in between. If you receive a DUI conviction, you’ll likely continue to feel the effects of your actions for years to come. That’s why it’s important to understand how a DUI can affect more than your ability to drive. When you know the potential consequences you’ll face, you have a better chance of making responsible decisions throughout the DUI process or even before your choices lead to a conviction. Learn more about the ways a DUI impacts your life with this overview.
DUIs can have a lasting impact on your life, and you should know the immediate consequences you might face. The rules vary from state to state, but you can expect steep fines, court dates, or even jail time after your DUI conviction. The consequences become more severe depending on the damage you caused or whether you have a past DUI conviction. You’ll also have to navigate the requirements to reinstate your license. This might include obtaining SR22 insurance, installing an ignition interlock device on your vehicle, or completing alcohol education courses. These and other initial consequences of a DUI cost time and money. Furthermore, your conviction goes on your record and will remain there for several years. This record of your actions is a huge part of how a DUI can affect more than your ability to drive. Future employers, banks, landlords, and other significant relations will see this information when reviewing applications.
Employment opportunities are a major part of our lives. Whether you’re pursuing a dream career or simply want a steady job to provide for yourself, finding and keeping a job is an essential aspect of adulthood. A DUI conviction complicates this endeavor. A DUI negatively affects your professional reputation, and some companies will fire you for the conviction. Even if the crime itself doesn’t cause you to lose your job, the inability to drive—and thus get to and from work easily—can put your job at risk. Keep in mind that some positions are more sensitive to a driving-related offense than others. If you have to drive for work, the chances of losing your job over a DUI are much higher. Additionally, if your job requires you to work with vulnerable populations—such as children, the elderly, or healthcare patients—a conviction of any kind will have a much more significant impact.
A DUI conviction affects the process of job hunting as well. Many companies require a background check before hiring employees. Your conviction will show up on the background check and likely influence your potential employer’s decision. Once again, jobs that require you to drive or serve certain populations are far more likely to reject your application over a DUI. However, your conviction can put you a step behind your competitors no matter what kind of job you apply for. Furthermore, if you lose your job because of your conviction, it will show up on your employment history, spurring even more questions about your professional history and experience.
Your job isn’t the only professional opportunity that can suffer from a DUI conviction. A DUI can also affect educational pursuits, especially at the college level. Many universities have a strict acceptance process, and some schools will even look at your criminal or driving record before accepting your application. Some universities even consider a DUI conviction reason for expulsion. Even if you can continue studying, your conviction might affect your applications for various scholarships, programs, and other academic opportunities. This is true even beyond college, where your DUI might make your pursuit of specific certifications, courses, and similar opportunities more complicated.
Other Applications and Background Checks
Jobs and schools aren’t the only opportunities that require background checks. Many significant life changes come with an application and a thorough look into your history. Applying for loans, finding housing opportunities, adopting kids, and other major events often require a background check before you can receive approval. This means that having a DUI on your record can inhibit your ability to go through with these exciting changes. Banks, landlords, and adoption agencies might see your past conviction and automatically reject you. Even if you’re allowed to continue the process, you will likely have to go through the stressful and often tedious process of explaining your DUI.
Finding Auto Insurance
A DUI conviction has financial consequences, too. One of the most significant costs of a DUI is the increased auto insurance premium you’ll have to pay. If you drink and drive—or violate any other major traffic laws—auto insurance companies will label you a high-risk driver. This means you’re more expensive to insure, so you’ll have to pay more for auto insurance. Furthermore, the state you live in might require you to obtain a certificate of responsibility that proves you’re maintaining the minimum liability requirements for auto insurance. This certificate, also known as an SR22, is part of reinstating your license and working through the consequences and requirements of a DUI conviction. Unfortunately, not all insurance providers offer SR22 insurance. You’ll have to shop around and compare the various insurance companies that offer SR22 to find an affordable and effective policy for your situation.
Not all consequences of a DUI are easy to identify or define. Your conviction—and the experience that comes with it—can take a toll on your emotional health. Guilt, nervousness, embarrassment, anger, and other emotional stressors impact the rest of your life. You might find new strain in your personal relationships because of the incident or because of consequences that stem from the incident. For example, being unable to drive your kids to and from school can make daily life more stressful for everyone in the family. Spending money on court fees and other expenses can cause financial strain for you and your loved ones. The emotional consequences of a DUI worsen if your actions caused damage or injury to other parties. These emotional impacts have their own repercussions throughout all aspects of your life, which is why it’s important to seek help if you’re suffering after a DUI conviction.
No matter what consequences you face, you’re not alone in your journey to recovery. A loving support network, professional help through legal counsel or therapy, and other options help you navigate your requirements and keep your life on track. Serenity Group will aid you in the journey as well. By helping you find affordable SR22 insurance, you can start working through your insurance requirements early so that you can focus on the other aspects of your DUI.