Every day, someone gets behind the wheel after having too much to drink. This person may be a college student heading home after a party or a grandparent who has struggled with alcohol addiction for years. No matter who you are, a drunk driving charge will affect your future.
People typically know drunk driving is a risk and that there are consequences. However, these consequences are not always immediately apparent. But make no mistake: A DUI – even a first offense – can follow you around and affect you in the following ways.
Consequences of a DUI
Depending on the details of a specific drunk driving offense and arrest, a person could be facing a wide range of penalties in Tennessee, including:
- Jail time
- Ignition interlock devices
- License suspension or revocation
- Community service
- Increased insurance premiums
These penalties can affect a person’s life in many ways.
- Socially – If you don’t have a license because of a DUI, you may need to rely on friends or family for rides. Not only is this inconvenient for you, but it can also become an imposition over time, straining relationships. Further, your loved ones may distance themselves from you if they are angry or disappointed with you.
- Financially – There are numerous financial consequences of DUI. Your insurance goes up; you have legal fees; you may need to pay fines and restitution. On top of this, you may have to miss work due to incarceration, community service or counseling.
- Legally – A person with one DUI on their record faces enhanced penalties for any subsequent offenses. The courts may also order jail time, which can be incredibly stressful. You may also be ineligible for jobs or other positions if you have a criminal history that includes drunk driving.
- Personally – Having a DUI can change the way people feel about you as a boss, parent or partner. It can be embarrassing, whether you must blow into an ignition interlock device before your car will start or you cannot drive your child to school if he or she misses the bus.
Considering the myriad ways a DUI can affect your life, it is crucial that you avoid drunk driving and the serious consequences of a conviction. If you do wind up accused of driving while intoxicated, you owe it to yourself and your future to defend yourself.