Drunk driving has been an inflammatory issue for decades. Many people have lost their lives in DUI-related driving accidents, but there seem to be few that fully understand the consequences of a DUI conviction. There are about 10,000 DUI-related deaths yearly in the United States. This suggests that there is still a significant number of people who aren’t aware of the long-term effects of a DUI conviction. If more people were aware of how much trouble a DUI conviction would get them into, perhaps they would think twice before driving while intoxicated.
The immediate legal effect arising from a DUI conviction is that the accused will be found in violation of state laws. The penalties that shall be imposed upon the accused can also be aggravated when their negligence causes severe bodily harm or death to other people.
For reference, the mere act of driving a vehicle while intoxicated is already considered a crime. For first time offenders, fines incidental to a DUI conviction range from $400 to $1,000, and jail time ranges between 48 hours to six months, plus a five-year probationary period.
Loss of Driving Privileges
The state can also suspend or revoke your driver’s license depending on the extenuating circumstances of the accident. Some states do offer hardship licenses to violators, but these pseudo-licenses are severely limited in their validity. These licenses allow bearers to drive a vehicle only under certain conditions. For example, a hardship license is only valid when the bearer uses the car to get to work or school. The license will be deemed non-functional if the bearer uses the car for a purpose other than what is agreed upon.
Long-Term Financial Liabilities
After paying fines, damages, court fees, and lawyer fees, those with a DUI conviction will also have to pay for long-term medical treatment of claimants. A DUI conviction can cost anywhere between $13,000 to $27,000 in total.
A DUI conviction can also hurt your chances of getting a job, and applying for loans and mortgages, which drastically limits your financial options for big purchases. This is because DUI convicts are assumed to be high-risk clients, not just in terms of their ability to repay loans, but also because of the assumption that they are likely to find themselves in another accident. It’s also for this same reason that people who have a DUI conviction will also have higher auto insurance premiums.
Mental Health Effects
Car accidents have adverse psychological effects on most people, especially when there’s a wrongful death involved. This is especially difficult for people who know that they caused the accident. They are very likely to develop post-traumatic disorder, panic attacks, insomnia, and depression. They may also experience a degree of social isolation and guilt, which make it harder to recover from the aforementioned psychological conditions.
A DUI conviction is a serious matter that will have a lasting effect on a person’s quality of life. It’s for this reason that people hire seasoned lawyers like the ones on this DUI Driver Defense Team to help them avoid harsher penalties, even on difficult cases. This should also serve as a reminder that one responsible decision can avert all these problems.