If you’ve recently been charged with driving under the influence, you may be feeling scared about what your future holds. Many people are under the impression that once you’ve gotten one DUI, you’re branded with the scarlet letter and will never be able to get another driver’s license again. The good news is that there are many ways for those convicted of a DUI to put their lives back on track as soon as possible. You do have to make sure you know what life will likely be like for you following a DUI conviction, however.
What Happens When You Get Pulled Over
When you get pulled over for DUI, you will be arrested and taken to jail. There, you’ll receive a blood-alcohol test (or breathalyzer) by police—and it may not go as well as expected. A DUI conviction means serious fines, loss of license and registration, mandatory alcohol education classes, community service hours, and more, especially if it is not your first offense. However, you have rights that the police will not share with you. It is your responsibility to know your rights, or to get the type of representation that will fight for those rights if you want to fight back against the charges.
What Happens If You’re Convicted
If you’re convicted, you will face a variety of penalties. Whether your DUI was your first offense or is part of an ongoing pattern, you can expect to face one or more of these consequences: a fine, some probation, and community service are mandatory if you’re convicted. You may be required to attend DUI school and alcohol abuse classes. Other potential DUI consequences include suspension of your driver’s license, installation of an ignition interlock device on your car and assessment for alcohol and drug addiction. Depending on factors such as how many offenses you have on record and whether anyone was injured as a result of your DUI, you could be facing jail time as well.
The Isolation Can Change Your Life
One of the least talked about consequences of a DUI is isolation. This can be because you feel as though you need to steer clear of socializing, or it could be that is how people react to your conviction. No matter why you face isolation, it can change how you live your life. In some cases, it can lead to increased drinking or drug usage, too. The DUI conviction forces us to examine our lives and see what needs attention. It forces us to change something if we don’t like where we are headed. It can be terrifying, but also extremely liberating; most of all it is just part of what happens when you are pulled over for a California DUI.
Getting a Job May Become More Difficult
Another consequence that can come along with a DUI is the lack of income. Many people facing a DUI lose their job. This is especially true if you drove for a living, such as a truck driver. While recovering from your DUI conviction, you may need to rely on other sources of income until you find yourself either with a new job that you can get to, or your license back during working hours. Younger crowds may need to take out a loan or borrow money to pay the bills for that gap where they are not working. Mature individuals have more options. For example, homeowners can look into getting a reverse mortgage to cover their bills for that time. To find out how much money you can get from a reverse mortgage, check out calculators like this one: https://reverse.mortgage/calculator
It may become very difficult for you to get another job after an incident of DUI. The employer will carry out a background check and it will show. In Washington state, it does not matter whether it is misdemeanor or a felony, it will show when the employer carries a background check. It is anyways difficult enough to get a job and when you have the smear of DUI, it will become even worse. Even colleges do a background check and if you want to get into school or are trying to get financial aid, they will know about DUI and it will have an impact on your career. It is also important to note that even property owners and landlords conduct a background check and it could become difficult to get a place, even if you want to rent.
Alternatives to Driving if Using or Drinking
If you have been using or drinking, you have alternative ways of getting home that do not involve you getting behind the wheel. Do not fall into a bad situation or an old habit and think you are safe to drive yourself home. Your reaction times are slower and you are more dangerous even with small amounts of substances in your body.
Instead of driving home, you can pick from a wide variety of alternatives and still get home safely. Uber is an on-demand car service that picks up where taxis leave off. You download their app to your phone, punch in your location and request a driver to pick you up (all costs will be deducted through credit card information provided with signup).
You can also use public transportation as another option. These are made available at regular schedules in most cities, allowing you to have a ride during daytime, nighttime, and weekend hours. If you plan your night out enough in advance, you can even set up a party for your friends to attend, too. Then, you can all chip in and get a limo or party bus to take you from place to place. It keeps you safe, lets you have fun, and does not put anyone in danger of drinking and driving.
DUI is not easy to deal with and it can have a long term impact on your health and career, hence, it helps to be aware of what DUI could lead to.