The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that somewhere around 28 Americans die in DUI-related crashes every day, or one person every 52 minutes. These figures are staggering, especially because these deaths are so preventable.

Of course, if you choose to drink and drive, you aren’t just putting your life and the lives of other drivers and pedestrians at risk. Even if your drunk driving doesn’t end in property damage, personal damage, or death, there are plenty of consequences that can affect your future.

Before you choose to drink and drive, it’s a good idea to get familiar with how a DUI arrest record could impact your long-term prospects. Here are the consequences you should know.

Fines and Jail Time

The immediate fallout if you’ve received a DUI or criminal damage charge includes the need to pay hefty fines. In many cases, you may also face jail time, though the amount may depend on your state laws and the severity of the crime.

Fewer Employment and Educational Prospects

If you have criminal charges filed against you, it can put your professional prospects at risk. Employers who see your DUI arrest record may not want to hire you, and they may not even be permitted to hire you if you’re seeking work in a field that requires mandatory driving skills. In addition, some drivers working in professions that require state or local licenses—such as plumbing or nursing—may find their license revoked after the DUI.

You may also struggle to move forward with your future if you are hoping to attend college. Many university applications will ask whether you have been convicted of a crime. Answering “Yes” may impact the university’s opinion of you, and it may also cost you a chance at financial aid, which can make your attendance more difficult.

Complex Lawsuits

If someone files a criminal mischief charge against you, or if you’ve injured a third party while driving under the influence, you may find yourself facing a civil or criminal lawsuit. These lawsuits can be complicated, requiring you to seek help from a lawyer who can protect your rights.

Automobile Insurance

If you have a DUI conviction, your car insurance rates will go up. In some states, your insurance agency may even cancel your policy, and it can often be difficult to find replacement coverage with a DUI on your record.

Family and Personal Relationships

Whether you are convicted or simply charged with a DUI, you may find that it puts a strain on your personal relationships. Beyond this, it’s worth noting that some states will grant at-fault divorces after a DUI conviction, and these convictions can even affect the outcome of custody battles and adoptions.

Avoid Getting a DUI Arrest Record

At the end of the day, driving under the influence can have a lasting effect on your own life and the lives of those around you. The consequences of a DUI arrest record will linger for years after the fact, causing you to struggle with things that may have come easily before. The best way to avoid this is to avoid drinking and driving, saving yourself unnecessary stress, hardship, and expense.

Want more of the quick legal insights you need? Be sure to check out our other posts for additional guidance.

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