Chances are, you probably already know and understand the short-term consequences of a driving under the influence (DUI) conviction: a suspended driver's licence, fines, and jail time. However, many people don't even stop to think about the long-term effects of DUI conviction before they get behind the wheel intoxicated. While you may lose driving privileges if you're convicted of a DUI offense, you could actually lose a lot more.
When you're convicted of a DUI charge, there is always a chance that you'll have to spend some time in jail. The amount of jail time in your sentence depends on whether or not you're a first-time offender and the laws in your state. Even if you don't have to spend time in jail, there's a good chance that you'll be required to see a probation officer regularly or complete community service hours. All of this can add up to a lot of missed work, and your employer may not be very happy about that. If you don't have enough sick days or vacation days to cover the time you won't be at work, your DUI could end up costing you your job. Also, if your job involves driving, a DUI could automatically result in the loss of your job.
Many employers conduct background checks on potential employees, and unfortunately, both misdemeanors and felony DUI convictions will show up on your background check. This could affect your chances of obtaining new jobs in the future, especially if the job that you're applying for involves driving. Even if the potential employer doesn't have a policy against hiring someone with DUI convictions on his or her record, it's likely that a potential employer would choose someone without a conviction over someone with a DUI on their record.
If you've been convicted of a DUI offense, you automatically become a high-risk driver, so be prepared for your car insurance rates to increase. The good news is, some states will allow first-time offenders to keep their driving privileges if they obtain an SR22 bond as part of their auto insurance policy. An SR22 bond is guaranteed liability coverage for high-risk drivers. Not all auto insurance companies offer SR22 bonds, but rates will vary between companies that do. So, if you are convicted of a DUI and need an SR22, make sure you compare rates from several insurance companies, such as Illinois Automobile Insurance, before purchasing a policy.
Felony DUI Convictions
If you have a DUI felony conviction, there are numerous privileges that you should be prepared to lose. For example, people who have felony convictions aren't allowed to purchase firearms or vote. In addition, your felony conviction could make it difficult for you to obtain a passport, and if you do get a passport, you could be denied entry into some countries because of your felony.
No one expects to be arrested for a DUI when they get behind the wheel of a car, but if you've been drinking alcohol, the risk is there. So, before you drink and drive, consider the long-term consequences of a DUI conviction. Then, call a cab or a friend to drive you home.