Most people are aware of the short-term consequences of a drunk driving conviction, including the possibility of a license suspension, fines and jail time. What most people aren’t aware of, however, is how convictions for drunk driving may have far-reaching consequences on their lives.
Long gone are the days when drunk driving was brushed off and mostly treated with tolerance. Today, having that conviction appear in your record can be a big problem.
The short-term implications of a drunk driving charge
Police are likely to take you into custody if they suspect that you’re operating a vehicle while intoxicated. Most first-time offenders will only spend a few hours in lockup as they sober up. It may be longer if a child was in their vehicle or had an exceptionally high blood alcohol content (BAC) at the time of their stop, they hurt someone or damaged property or are a repeat offender.
The California Department of Transportation is likely to suspend your license for the first six months following your drunk driving arrest. The suspension may last longer the higher your BAC was at the time of your arrest and depending on whether this was your first offense or whether you’re a repeat offender. While you may be able to petition a judge to give you occupational privileges that will allow you to travel to work, school or your physician’s or attorney’s office, there are no guarantees.
The long-term consequences of a drunk-driving conviction
Insurance companies are likely to classify any motorists who regain their driving privileges after a judge or jury convicts them of a DUI as “high risk”. You may find it challenging to find auto insurance. Even if you do, your monthly premium is likely to double or triple what it previously.
A DUI conviction may adversely impact your ability to retain scholarships and other financial aid necessary to go to college or your ability to secure or maintain professional licenses or commercial driving ones. It may also impact your ability to secure housing, obtain a job and affect your legal right to remain in this country as an immigrant.
Don’t take any chances when you’re facing drunk driving charges here in San Jose. Have a DUI defense attorney advocate for you in your California case when you need it most for the best results.