Driving while intoxicated or impaired (DWI) is dangerous to you and the public, but not just for the obvious reasons. If you get convicted of a DWI, that record will follow you for a long time. It will put all sorts of obstacles in your way. Here are some of the difficulties you’ll face if you have a DWI on your record.
Losing Your License
It’s common to have your driver’s license suspended for years if convicted of a DWI, even after you’ve finished all the other legal punishments. If you don’t have a license, many jobs might not keep you on because they can’t rely on you to show up. If you are able to get a ride, it’s a headache for everyone, not to mention the difficulties of running errands, and keeping a social life without legal access to a car.
If you do a job that requires driving and get a DWI, the chances are very high that you will lose your job. But even if you’re not a driver, the legal headaches of dealing with a DWI can interfere with your ability to work. For instance, you may have to ask for time off so you can attend driving school or other court-ordered appointments.
Certain professionals may also lose their licenses if they get a DWI. A pilot, nurse, teacher, or doctor might have to change careers or stop practicing for several years and wait to get their licenses back.
Getting a job with a DWI on your record is tough. If you don’t have a job, your DWI will show up on a background check. Many employers are nervous about hiring someone with a DWI conviction in case of a relapse or difficulties with self control.
Higher Insurance Rates
Auto insurance companies consider DWI drivers to be a higher risk, and will increase premiums significantly when they find out about your conviction. Premiums could double or triple for years until you show them that your risk is reduced for a repeat offense. Depending on your insurance, you could get dropped entirely.
If you have a DWI, colleges and scholarships may reject your applications. You could even have an existing scholarship revoked or get expelled from school. This is a consequence that catches underage drinkers and their families by surprise.
Finally, your relations, both personal and professional, will look at you differently for the rest of your life. When word of your DWI gets out – and it will thanks to public records and the media – your reputation will be damaged. Your family and loved ones may try to keep a closer eye on you so that you don’t drink. Your coworkers may keep their distance or pass you over for promotions.
Jail time and fines are bad enough, but these long-term DWI consequences are even worse. The message is clear: don’t drink and drive!