A drunk driving arrest can be terrifying. Your driver’s license is immediately suspended. You will be hauled off for booking, and you may spend a night (or longer) in jail.
Then, you have to wait anxiously through the coming weeks and months for your case to either settle through a plea deal or go to court. The penalties don’t end there, though.
How does a drunk driving arrest or conviction affect your life?
You may be able to petition a judge for occupational driving privileges while your case is pending. That’s unlikely to happen, however, if you’re a repeat offender, had a BAC above the legal limit at the time of your arrest or injured or killed someone in a wreck. Following a conviction, you could face an extended period without a license.
Anyone with a commercial driver’s license (CDL) will likely be unable to work for their employer even if a judge allows them occupational driving privileges. State law has reduced BACs in place for these motorists. Federal law prohibits them from operating company vehicles during their open driving under the influence (DUI) case. You’ll therefore need to seek alternative employment if you work in such a role.
Media outlets often publish details about DUI arrests in the newspaper or show them on television, so you may experience public embarrassment. Records are easily searchable online, and most employers perform background checks before hiring anyone for a job. They may not hire you if they discover your arrest or conviction. If you’re already employed, you may find yourself in trouble for violating company policies on behavior.
A drunk driving conviction on your record may also impact your ability to retain or secure a professional license to work within your chosen career. A conviction could impact your admission to a higher education program, ability to qualify for scholarships, secure housing, or assume public office.
At the very minimum, you will also face expensive increases in your car insurance bill every month for years to come. Anybody with a drunk driving conviction is deemed a “high-risk” driver by the insurance companies.
Get help immediately if you’re facing drunk driving charges
Police officers’ suspicions that a driver is intoxicated aren’t always on point. Breathalyzer test results aren’t foolproof, either. Your life is not over if you’re facing DUI charges here in Florida, but you’ll need to align yourself with a drunk driving attorney who knows how to fight for your rights and your future.