Drinking and Driving: 5 Consequences for Your Driving Record
Drinking and driving is never a good idea. It remains one of the leading preventable causes of car accidents. Having a DUI conviction can have long-term impacts on your record, affecting any number of things. If you have a DUI or DWI conviction, you should seek the appropriate legal advice. Below are some of the issues you may face and what the offense may do to your driving record.
1. Your License May Be Suspended
A conviction may lead to your license being suspended for a period of time. The amount of time depends on the laws in your state, how many times you have offended previously, and other factors. For example, some states elevate penalties for driving while drunk in a school zone. In rare cases, you may lose your driving privileges for life, but this is generally reserved for multiple offenders.
2. You May Be Put In Rehab
Judges may order people convicted of drinking and driving (or of using other drugs) to attend an alcohol or drug counseling program. Also, it is a possibility that a court may order inpatient treatment. More likely, they will send you to Alcoholics Anonymous or a similar support group. As a note, if you or your family think you have a drinking problem, some kind of counseling is advisable even if a court does not order it.
3. Your Car May Be Equipped with an Ignition Interlock Device
It’s becoming more and more common for state laws and courts to order that the vehicle used by somebody with a recent DUI conviction be equipped with an ignition interlock device, generally at your own expense. Compliance with the interlock device may get your license back significantly faster, and in some cases your lawyer may advise you to obtain a device in order to get your driving privileges back. These devices are often used in conjunction with a restricted license, meaning you may only be permitted to drive to and from work or school, or to necessary things such as medical appointments.
4. Your Auto Insurance May Go Up
Your auto insurance premiums will leap after a conviction, assuming your insurer will let you keep coverage at all. [AL1] [KI2] In some states, you may have to purchase insurance with higher limits than the normal minimum, further inflating the price. Always be forthcoming with your current or future insurance companies about the conviction. If you don’t notify your auto insurance provider and they find out through a background check, they will almost certainly deny you coverage.
5. You May Have A Criminal Record
A DWI may even be a felony—some states may consider it a felony if, for example, you have a child in the car or if somebody dies. There may be a threshold of convictions you can have before it gets pushed up to a felony. A felony conviction may stay on your record for life. Misdemeanors will often eventually drop off, and you may be able to get your record expunged if you have been clean and sober for a while.
Criminal background checks, for certain jobs, often show the conviction. This may cause you problems with gaining employment. In some states, first-time offenders can apply for a non-disclosure petition, meaning the record is sealed from regular background checks (but not full criminal background checks). States may allow employers to refuse anyone with a conviction. Whether a specific employer cares about a DUI may depend on the job duties, the length of time since the conviction, and the severity of the offense. Note that you will likely not be able to get a job that involves driving.
Having a DUI on your record comes with numerous social side effects.. If you were convicted of drinking and driving, you may need legal help to get it expunged. Attending counseling and installing an ignition interlock device can also help you recover from the effects on your driving record and future background checks.
Visit our website to learn how Draeger can help you meet your ignition interlock requirement with ease. When you need to install an ignition interlock device, trust in Draeger to help regain control of your life quickly and affordably.