Repercussions from a DUI conviction significantly exceed the damage it does to your finances. Click here for more information on driving under the influence.
It’s really important to know just how deep the roots of a DUI go. Here are the top 15 costs of having a DUI on your record–just in case you think about drinking and driving:
1. DUI convictions remain on your record permanently. In fact, you might as well have your conviction engraved on your tombstone because that’s where it will follow you.
2. Some states are now taking DNA saliva swabs of people arrested for DUI. You could be arrested for other crimes if your DNA matches evidence contained in the CODIS database.
3. License suspension is mandatory. How long you will be without a valid license depends on whether it is your first or second DUI conviction. Getting caught while driving on a suspended license following a DUI conviction means your car will be impounded, you pay more fines and terms of your probation will be revoked–meaning you will be going to jail.
4. Before getting your license reinstated, you will have to show proof of high-risk insurance, which typically costs twice as much as regular insurance.
5. Many countries refuse entry to people with DUI convictions–even our neighbor Canada.
6. If you work at a military base or as a contractor for the U.S. government, your security clearance could be revoked or denied. Superior officers have the right to sanction DUI arrestees by denying promotions, removing them from command positions or preventing them from driving military vehicles.
7. Law, dental, medical, nursing and other professional schools could deny you admission because of a DUI conviction.
8. If you are a teacher and get caught driving under the influence, you could lose your job and even your license.
9. Need a loan to purchase a car, a house or other necessary investment? Be prepared to possibly pay higher interest rates if you have a DUI conviction.
10. Jobs that require “bonded” employees, such as home health care workers, financial positions and cleaning services, often cannot hire people with DUI convictions because insurance agencies will not insure them.
11. You may find it difficult to rent a nice apartment in a nice neighborhood with a DUI conviction on your record.
12. You could lose your commercial driving license for many years (even for life) if you are convicted of repeated DUI convictions. In order for you to get to work, you may be issued a specialized driving license that permits you to drive to and from work ONLY. In addition, you may have a type of breathlyzer placed on your car that you must breathe into before starting the engine to make sure you are not drunk.
13. If you are in a custody battle with an ex-spouse, a DUI conviction will definitely seal the case–in favor of the spouse without a DUI conviction.
14. Depending on your state’s laws regarding DUI ramifications, you may have to attend psychological counseling, substance abuse counseling, driving school and any other program the judge thinks would benefit you.
15. The worst consequence of driving drunk is the very real possibility that you could be convicted of vehicular manslaughter, driving while intoxicated, reckless operation of a motor vehicle and a host of other convictions–all paving the way to many long, hard years in a state penitentiary.
Don’t forget that failure to pay fines (typically over $1000) resulting from a DUI conviction is cause for your local police agency to issue a bench warrant for your arrest. If you get caught and arrested, expect to make the local jail your temporary home until fines are paid either by you or by spending enough days in jail to pay off the fine.