Understanding the Long-Term Impact a DUI Can Have on Your Life
“I’ll drive, I’m only going to have one drink”. Drinking and driving can be a very dangerous combination. While under the influence of any substance, it isn’t smart to operate a vehicle or convince yourself you’re capable of doing so.
Many people drink and drive because they would rather save money on transportation like cabs and Lyft or Uber, especially if they’re going longer distances to a concert. Young adults tend to think that drinking and driving is “cool” and “rebellious”, and want to be seen as the party person in their clique of friends. Some of these young adults even convince themselves that they’re “good drunk drivers”, and do it because they’ve done it before and gotten away with it. Others choose to drink and drive because they think that it won’t make a huge impact if they get caught, or the repercussions will be minor. But this isn’t the case at all.
The most popular reason for drinking and driving actually results from combination decision-making that stems from alcohol-related decisions and driving-related decisions. For example, an individual decides they aren’t going to drink and opt to be the designated driver for that night. Once out at the bars, this individual is stimulated by the fun of the environment and decides they’ll have one drink. Having one drink, when everyone around you is under the influence of much more alcohol, is much easier said than done. Soon, this one drink turns into three or four.
Now it is the end of the night, you’re intoxicated, but because you have a responsibility as the designated driver you convince yourself you’re still capable of carrying out this duty. Getting behind the wheel in situations like these is a DUI waiting to happen, as law enforcement is usually waiting around popular nightlife areas to catch drivers in compromising positions such as these.
Between 800,000 and 1.5 million people are arrested each year for DUIs. This offense is entirely too common, and can affect much more than just the person behind the wheel. In the United States, 29 people die every day due to alcohol-related hits or collisions.
Other than the immediate damage you can cause to the lives of others, driving under the influence has severe, implicating consequences. The guide that follows walks you through a few of the long-term impacts getting a DUI can have on your life.
Losing Your License
When you get a DUI, it’s very common for you to lose your license. There are some judges who may sentence you to a restricted license so that you are allowed to get to and from work, take your kids to school functions, and get to the doctor. You won’t be able to drive to the store, to restaurants, or a friend’s houses when you have a restricted license. Judges impose these strict sentences because they want to make a huge impact on your life and bring to light the true severity of the decision to drink and drive.
These sentences can strip you of your license for months, in some instances up to years. In cases of individuals with multiple DUI’s, their license may be suspended indefinitely. Not being able to drive will make your life very difficult, and driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol will never be worth this consequence.
Increased Insurance Costs
When you get a DUI, you have to get a special kind of insurance called SR-22 insurance, and often have to hold it for a year or more. This type of insurance is much more expensive than traditional car insurance. If you fail to pay the insurance on time, or cancel it prematurely, the insurance company is obligated to report this action to the Department of Motor Vehicles and you could suffer harsher punishments for failing to adhere to the ruling the judge gave to you. If you already have a DUI, it is best to abide by the guidelines set to your case. Trying to find ways out of your sentence will only result in a deeper hole, both legally and financially.
When you get a DUI, there is a good chance that you could be sentenced to some time in jail. The length of time that you have to spend in jail can vary based on the judge that hears your case. Spending time in jail can be very scary and overwhelming. There are many people who say that jail changes you forever and that it can be hard to return to life the same way you were living it before you were incarcerated.
Your first DUI generally results in up to 1-year in jail and 12 points added to your license. First time DUI manslaughter can result in a 3-15 sentence, with no parole for the duration of the first year at minimum. Not only do you have to face the harsh conditions of incarceration: you will also have to deal with the guilt of taking the life of an individual because of your choice to get behind the wheel while intoxicated.
Ample Fines and Penalties
When you get convicted of a DUI, you have to pay a lot of money toward fines and penalties. There are some jurisdictions that may allow you to set up payment plans, while others require you to pay a lump sum for the money that you owe. The amount will not be small, so you need to consider that you could end up losing a lot of money for choosing to get behind the wheel after having a few drinks. If your budget doesn’t allow for other forms of transportation while drinking, it is highly unlikely that you will be able to handle the financial repercussions imposed by DUI fines.
Ignition Interlock Machines
There are some judges that will ensure you cannot drink and drive again by forcing you to have an ignition interlock machine installed in your car. You will have to blow into it before you can get the car to start each day. This device will lock a vehicle’s ignition if it detects alcohol on the breath of the driver. These devices need to be calibrated on a regular basis, and you will have to pay to have this service done. This device has been viewed as beneficial to both offenders and law enforcement. But at the end of the day, the hassle it brings isn’t worth driving under the influence.
If you know you have a drinking problem, it’s best to go to rehab and get help right away rather than wait to get caught drinking and driving. It could save your life, and the life of anyone else who may be on the road when you are driving while intoxicated. Arizona Addiction Recovery Center can help you make better decisions, and treat any physical or mental addictions that may be the cause for your dangerous behaviors.
The success of our patients is our top priority and putting a stop to detrimental habits is something we’ve helped many successfully overcome. Call us today to discuss treatment plans and program options.