Some people may think a DUI conviction is a temporary problem or isn’t a big deal because it is so prevalent in our society. Everyday there are reports of people getting arrested for DUI and they appear to only get a slap on the wrist. Most people know about the possibility of jail time or paying a fine, but you may not be aware of the serious long-term consequences it can have on your life.
D.C.’s laws were already tough and they only became harsher with the enactment of the Comprehensive Impaired Driving and Alcohol Testing Program Emergency Amendment Act of 2012. You will encounter difficulties even if the police officer has a reason to believe you are driving while intoxicated. You can refuse to take a breath test or field sobriety test but failing to submit to a test could result in getting your driver license suspended for a year. If you have already been convicted of a DUI, there is the presumption that you are under the influence if you refuse to take the test.
Merely being charged with DUI can negatively affect your reputation. Even though our criminal laws state that people are presumed innocent until they are found guilty by a court of law, there is often the assumption that people are guilty when they are arrested for a DUI charge. When you are facing a DUI charge there is the perception that your behavior was reckless and that lives were in danger before you even have your day in court.
DWI and DUI charges strike a chord for many people. We have all heard stories or been directly affected by people who have been harmed by a drunk driver. Unfortunately, this has tainted the ability for many people to distinguish between a person being charged with a DUI and being found guilty.
If you are convicted of a DUI it may only affect your ability to drive, but for some people it will prevent them from earning an income. Commercial drivers are considered intoxicated if their blood alcohol content is .04 or higher. The commercial driver license (CDL) can be confiscated upon arrest. If there is a DUI conviction, the CDL will be suspended. The CDL will be permanently revoked if there are multiple DUI convictions. Other licensed professionals may also be subjected to sanctions and penalties by their respective licensing boards if they are convicted of a DWI or DUI.
A DUI conviction can also hurt you financially in regards to your auto insurance. Insurers significantly increase rates for policyholders with a DUI conviction on their record. Auto insurance companies calculate risk. “A DWI can be similarly hurt you financially” says one Buffalo DWI lawyer. If you are found guilty of driving under the influence, you are seen as being a high risk policyholder who could likely harm other people on the road and cause excessive property damage. When you are considered too much of a risk the insurer will terminate your coverage.