If you’ve been convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, that kind of criminal conviction can remain on your record for five years or more. In some states, a DUI conviction remains on your record for life, bringing lasting consequences that have long-reaching effects on your life.
Going Beyond Fines
Consequences for a DUI go beyond mere fines and penalties. You can face possible jail time, suspended driving privileges, and an increase in your car insurance premiums that will last too long.
Most states retain a DUI on a driving record for five to ten years, but if you live in the states of Alaska, Kansas, Illinois, Maine, or Nevada, expect to have it on your record permanently.
While a driving record may be cleared after a time, a criminal record is something that remains with you for life. Even if you are lucky enough to get this conviction off your driving record, it will remain on your criminal record for life.
First-time offenders and those under 21 may be able to get a DUI expunged, but these situations are rare; you cannot count on this kind of circumstance to release you from the responsibility of having one on your record.
If you find yourself facing charges a DUI accident lawyer may help with your case, providing you with the legal advice needed to wade through the complicated process of earning privileges back once more.
Why a DUI on Your Record Matters
A DUI conviction has adverse effects on various aspects of your life beyond paying fines and having a license suspended. As it shows up on both your criminal and driving records, you may experience the following situations:
Background Check Issues
People often perform background checks to verify housing applications, admission to colleges, and financial aid applications. A conviction could lead to the loss of one of these privileges, making it difficult to forge ahead with life plans.
An employer may run a background check during a hiring process. Your DUI conviction may hinder your ability to find suitable employment, particularly if your job involves working in financial institutions or driving.
High Insurance Rates
A tarnished driving record could significantly impact your car insurance premiums, as you are now considered a high-risk driver. Some insurance companies may even deny you insurance coverage, as they will not want to take you on as a potential liability who could cost them thousands of dollars in coverage and damages to people and property.
Being arrested and convicted of a DUI could potentially change the way employers, coworkers, and even friends and family view you.
Issues With Financial Assistance
Academic institutions and private lenders are pretty conservative with lending money; they tend to look for ambitious candidates that demonstrate integrity in all aspects of life.
Your conviction may impact your ability to gain entrance to a reputable college or university, and receiving scholarships and financial aid may be more difficult than anticipated as you try to improve your life circumstances.
Legal Consequences Of DUI Conviction
More and more states are cracking down on DUI offenders, and they may give one or more of the following consequences for this costly mistake, including:
- License suspension
- Home arrest
- Mandatory alcohol treatment program participation
- Paying restitution and fines
- Community service
- Impoundment of your vehicle
The Best Action Is Prevention
DUI conviction is not the end of the world, but it does come with an uphill climb after the event. The best course of action is not to get behind the wheel. If you find yourself facing a DUI conviction, take the following actions to make things right once more.
- Maintain a clean driving record
- Take DMV-approved courses to improve your record points
- Hire a qualified DUI attorney to handle your case
- Refrain from getting behind the wheel when you’ve been drinking
There is life after a DUI. Follow the directions of your legal counsel and make your way through the process of reclaiming your life once more as you look forward to more freedom, better choices, and renewed vision and purpose.