Charged With Your First DUI? 4 Reasons Why You Must Take It Very Seriously
Drivers who have just been charged with their first DUI may be relieved to find that the charge is usually only a misdemeanor crime and usually does not result in jail time. Unfortunately, this information can lead to some defendants dismissing the seriousness of their DUI or DWI charge, but doing so can be very short-sighted, especially in terms of how either a DUI or DWI can affect the defendant's future.
If you have just been charged with this type of crime and are wondering why you should take it more seriously, the following information will help you see into the future and better understand the potential problems and complications that might be set into motion by a single misdemeanor DUI arrest.
A first DUI can keep you out of your desired learning institutions
If you are a college student or about to become one, being arrested and convicted of a first DUI may be sufficient to limit any academic aspirations you may have. Colleges and universities often monitor social media accounts, news sources, and publicly available court records information sites for information about their students and applicants. If negative information is found, it may be used in their decision-making processes for the purposes of accepting student applications or awarding grants and scholarships.
In addition, students who have already actively enrolled in a college or university on a scholarship program before receiving a DUI conviction may find that their funds are cut off if their school has a zero-tolerance policy for this type of offense.
A first DUI conviction can limit job opportunities and promotions
Adults who are arrested for DUI can also experience serious ramifications that can affect a wide range of future job opportunities and promotions. This is especially true when the job requires professional licensing or security clearance.
A DUI conviction can also be a problem for those who drive as part of their employment, such as a route sales or delivery driver who uses a company vehicle or an over-the-road trucker. Even those who drive as a side gig, such as an Uber or Lyft driver, may find that having a DUI on their record will immediately limit or remove their ability to continue earning this type of income.
Drivers of any vehicle will also find that a DUI conviction will cause their vehicle insurance premiums to rise sharply.
A first DUI can be a problem for those in high-profile careers
Those who hold a public office or may be pursuing any type of high-profile career can find that their livelihood can be damaged from the public scrutiny that results from a DUI conviction. One well-known example of this was when former President George W. Bush faced backlash during the 2000 presidential election campaign due to publicity surrounding his 1976 DUI conviction.
On a smaller scale, persons serving as a city alderman, school board member, or in another local office may find that a DUI arrest can damage their ability to continue in their position or be reelected for another term.
A first DUI paves the way to more serious legal issues
One particularly distressing problem that arises with a first DUI arrest and conviction is that the laws in most states view it as a progressive legal issue.
For instance, while a first DUI is almost always a misdemeanor charge, someone who acquires a second one, even years after the first, will be subject to far more serious penalties. In many cases, repeat offenders face mandatory jail time and significant monetary fines.
If you have been arrested and charged with a DUI or DWI for the first time, contacting a DUI attorney as quickly as possible may help you find a way to minimize the damage you may face both now and in the future.