Driving under the influence is a serious offense that comes with serious consequences. From heavy fines and court-ordered classes to license suspension and jail time, the impact of a DUI can be expensive, time-consuming and extremely inconvenient.
Because no one ever expects to get a DUI, most of us lack a thorough understanding of what will happen after getting one. While getting a DUI is a life-altering event, it does not mean your life will never get back to normal. Educate yourself on the ways a DUI can impact your life and what to do if you ever find yourself arrested for driving under the influence.
How a DUI Can Affect Your Life
A DUI is a criminal offense that will be placed on your permanent criminal record with a mugshot and fingerprints. Other consequences vary based on the seriousness of the offense. Conviction for a first-time DUI offense generally includes:
– Suspension of driver’s license (usually from six months to two years)
– DUI School and/or counseling
– Fines and court costs, plus restitution if there was an accident involved
– Installation of an Ignition Interlock Device system in your vehicle for an average of 1 to 3 years at your expense.
Other consequences may include:
– Higher insurance rates and possible termination of your policy
– Inability to travel outside of the country
– Loss of work if transportation becomes an issue or if you are fired for having a criminal record
– Trouble getting jobs in the future
– Financial strife (A DUI in Florida costs between $7,447 and $10,147 on average)
– In the most serious cases, jail time
What To Do If You Get A DUI
Because a DUI conviction can be so devastating, it is important to know what to do next. There are several measures you can take to minimize the impact of getting a DUI.
- Act quickly. After being arrested for a DUI, you will only have 10 days to request a Formal Review Hearing with the DMV. The outcome of this hearing will determine whether your license will be suspended. By simply requesting a hearing, you can get a temporary permit that allows you to drive to work, school and approved locations.
- Show up in court. Do not miss your court date. Doing so will only get you in more trouble.
- Do your time. Whatever your punishment ends up being, carry it out in full. It is important to fulfill the terms of your conviction without getting into more trouble so you can move past it as quickly as possible.
- Get your license back. It might take a while to get back full use of your driver’s license, but the ability to drive will help you be successful in the future. In the meantime, find out if you qualify for a hardship license so you can continue driving to work or school.
When to Call an Attorney
If you have been arrested for DUI, consult an attorney as soon as possible. At Laporte, Mulligan & Werner-Watkins, P.A., our experienced DUI lawyers are here to help you through this trying legal process so you can get your life back to normal as soon as possible. Call us today for a free consultation.