Over 1 million drivers were arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or narcotics in a single year. Despite laws against drunk driving, more people are earning DUIs and experiencing the consequences.
What is life after a DUI conviction like? How can you navigate the consequences of DUI convictions?
Despite the stress you’re likely feeling right now, it is possible to repair your life after earning a DUI conviction. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about potential DUI consequences and how to repair the damage.
With this guide, you’ll know to expect and how to improve your life despite those consequences.
Get started with these tips!
In every state, it’s illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher. Even so, one-third of all traffic crashes in the country involve drunk drivers. In fact, there’s a drunk-driving crash every 50 minutes in the country, leading to at least one death.
After you’re arrested for a DUI, you’ll have to navigate your way through court proceedings before a judge determines the ramifications. You can find out more about that process to prepare yourself beforehand.
There are a few short-term DUI consequences you might experience, such as:
- Temporary driver’s license suspension
- Fees and fines
- High insurance premiums
- Court-mandated community service
- Participation in drunk driving education programs
- Jail time
Despite these many short-term consequences of DUI convictions, the long-term consequences can cause even more pain.
Even after you pay your fines, you might experience issues in the future. Here are a few long-term consequences you might have to deal with during life after a DUI conviction.
1. Driver’s License Revocation
After receiving a DUI conviction, the judge might decide to revoke your license. This can last for up to two years for your first conviction.
As a result, you might have a difficult time getting to work. If you have a job that requires you to drive, you might have to look for employment elsewhere.
Losing the ability to drive will make it feel like you’ve lost your freedom. Without your driver’s license, you’ll find it challenging to:
- Run errands
- Visit friends or family members
- Enjoy social activities
You might feel more frustrated as you depend on someone else for a ride, too.
2. Background Checks
Before hiring a job applicant, most employers conduct a criminal background check. A felony or misdemeanor DUI conviction will appear on that check. As a result, you might find it difficult to secure a new job.
Landlords and colleges conduct background checks as well.
As a result, receiving a DUI conviction could make it difficult for you to gain college financial aid or apply for housing.
If you receive a DUI conviction, you’ll need to schedule time for:
- Court dates
- Jail time
- Community service
These activities could impact your work schedule or cause you to lose your job altogether. If you lose your job, you might find it difficult to find another one during life after a DUI conviction.
Many employers aren’t comfortable about hiring someone with a mark on their record. They might disqualify you for the job outright.
4. Auto Insurance Rates
After receiving a DUI conviction, your auto insurance rates will likely increase. Insurance companies consider DUI convicted drivers “high risk”. Some companies could even terminate your coverage altogether.
Tips for Improving Your Life After a DUI Conviction
Despite these consequences during your life after a DUI conviction, you can make a change. Here are a few tips for improving your life after DUI charges.
1. Lean on Your Support System
First, it’s important to lean on your friends and family. Most of them probably didn’t realize you had an alcohol problem. Many people with addiction try to hide their problem due to shame or guilt.
First, take the time to talk to your family members and friends about the mistakes they made. It’s likely they’ll feel upset; that’s normal. Try to assure them that it won’t happen again.
Your friends and family members can help you devise a plan to work. For example, if your license was revoked, they can help with travel arrangements.
Take the time to apologize for what happened. If you hurt someone in an accident, apologize to them as well. Let the people in your life see that you understand the consequences of DUI convictions and want to change.
Leaning on your friends and family members will make navigating the consequences of a DUI a lot easier.
2. Look for Support Groups
It can also help to speak with people who understand what you’re going through. Consider joining AA or another support group in the area.
A single DUI offense might not seem like you’re an alcoholic. However, it does indicate you have a problem with alcohol.
Do a little research. If Alcoholics Anonymous doesn’t seem like the right fit, that’s okay. Instead, look for a support group you feel comfortable joining.
Surrounding yourself with people who understand what you’re experiencing will also hold you accountable to make a change.
3. Consider Counseling
Your employer or a judge might recommend you go into counseling or therapy.
Therapy is a great way to work through the personal issues you’re facing. A professional therapist or counselor can help you work through the problems associated with your alcohol use to avoid another DUI conviction in the future.
4. Look into Rehab
If your problem is serious, you might want to consider checking yourself into rehab. Alcohol addiction is a real sickness. It happens to people everywhere.
By checking yourself into rehab, you can make an important choice that will benefit your future.
5. Find New Hobbies
When you focus on your alcohol use, hobbies that once excited you can fall on the backburner. Try to discover ways to move on and focus your energy on new skills instead.
For example, you might consider picking up an instrument. Try working out as well, which is a great way to improve your mental and physical health.
6. Evaluate Social Situations
In time, you’ll encounter situations that will likely involve drinking. Try to avoid these circumstances. For example, if your friends go out to a bar every week, ask if you can do something different instead.
If your social group pressures you into drinking, you might want to find a different group to spend time with instead.
Life After a DUI Conviction: Everything You Need to Set Yourself Up for Success
A DUI conviction isn’t the end of the world. By understanding the consequences and making a plan, you can improve your life after a DUI conviction instead of letting it slow you down.
Searching for more helpful life tips? Explore The Accidental Communicator Newsletter today.