Depending on where you live, a charge may be called “Drunk Driving”, OWI, DWI, or DUI.
The consequences of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated can be severe and long-lasting. A DUI/OWI conviction can lead to criminal and civil consequences, as well as the loss of your license to drive. Even if you’ve never previously been in trouble with the law, this serious offense has a lingering effect. Let’s take a closer look at the effects of a DUI.
Consequences of a DUI
Permanent Criminal Record
Unlike some other offenses, a DUI gives you a permanent criminal record. Whether you’re applying for employment or looking to rent a home, your DUI conviction will show up during a background check. A prior DUI will also increase the penalties for a later DUI, meaning that subsequent DUI convictions lead to more severe consequences, including increased fines and greater potential jail time. Convictions of three or more DUIs can lead to prison for up to five years.
May Impact Your Career
A DUI/OWI conviction will lead to your driving license being revoked for a specific time period. This can be problematic for employers. Depending on your employer, you could be terminated or placed on probation from your employer. The effects are serious for bus operators, truckers, cab drivers, food delivery drivers, and couriers. Even if you don't drive for a living, your career could still be affected by the conviction.
Increased Auto Insurance
It’s no secret that a DUI/OWI often leads to a higher cost of auto insurance. In some instances, it could increase by more than 300 percent. You will be viewed by the insurance provider as a risk, and the requirement for higher insurance may continue well after your license is restored.
Limits Foreign Travel
People may be surprised to learn a DUI/OWI can hinder the ability to travel outside of the United States. Countries that may restrict entry include China, Japan, South Africa, Australia, and Canada.
If your DUI/OWI resulted in injury or a loss of life, you could also face a civil lawsuit. The financial and social repercussions will likely be significant.
Branstad & Olson will work to obtain the best possible outcome in your case.
Professional legal advice may be obtained by contacting Branstad & Olson. We are committed to each client.