The consequences of DUI conviction can be incredibly severe. Most people are aware that DUI carries the risk of jail time, of steep fines and the possibility of losing their driver's license. However, there are many other consequences that go hand in hand with DUI conviction. In many cases, these can be as onerous and taxing as the well-known consequences already mentioned.
What can the legal system possibly do that is worse than spending time in jail, paying enormous sums of money and losing your driving privileges? They can do quite a bit. Each state in the US has enacted stricter, harsher new DUI laws in the hopes of preventing DUI, as well as garnering headlines for the legislator's benefit.
Common DUI Penalties
You will have legal ramifications, monetary ramifications and even social ramifications due to conviction of DUI. Most states now require those convicted of DUI to:
- Perform Community Service – Community service can be an onerous task. Some states can require up to 100 hours of community service if you are convicted of DUI.
- Drunk Driving School – Almost all states have enacted legislation forcing you to attend a class on drunk driving. This class can be up to 30 hours and you are responsible for the costs, which can mount to over $400.
- Ignition Interlock – This is a device that measures the amount of alcohol on your breath before you can start your vehicle. You must breathe into this device any time you start your car, whether you are leaving for work in the morning or waiting to get the oil changed. This can be embarrassing and expensive; installation and monitoring can exceed $3,000.
- Panel of Victims – This can be a terrible experience. During this process, you must attend a panel made up of the victims of DUI accidents, as well as the family members who have lost loved ones to drunk drivers.
In addition, the sheer cost of a DUI case can be incredible:
- Attorney Fees – These can mount to almost $20,000
- Court Fees – Court fees can exceed $8,000 in some cases
- Civil Suits – If you are sued in civil court, you can expect to pay an exorbitant amount to the plaintiff if you lose.
Finally, there are other consequences of DUI that can span your entire life:
- Life Insurance – Many life insurance companies will not insure you with a DUI conviction.
- Car Rental – Car rental companies can deny you service if you have a DUI conviction on your record.
- International Travel – Many countries will not allow you into the country if you have a DUI.
- Health Insurance – Expect the costs of your health insurance to skyrocket in the case of conviction.