Driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious crime and can have many different negative impacts. In addition to possible fines and/or jail time, you will have a DUI record. This means that your DUI can continue to follow you and affect various aspects of your life.
Here are some of the ways having a DUI record can affect you:
A DUI can affect your current employment by changing how your boss and coworkers perceive you. It can also cause you to miss work for court dates, jail time, and/or community service hours. In addition, your DUI record can continue to impact your employment, especially if you are looking for a new job. Many employers run background checks and a drunk driving conviction could cost you employment opportunities. Additionally, some types of jobs, such as those that involve driving, may be unavailable to you permanently or for a certain length of time after your DUI conviction.
Like employers, many landlords conduct criminal background checks for potential residents. Although they are not able to deny applicants solely because of a criminal record, it can be a factor in their decision whether or not to rent to you.
Universities can screen potential students for criminal offenses and can deny admissions or scholarships. This can apply at various levels of education. Whether you are a high schooler being charged with underage drinking, a college student who might want to pursue a higher degree, or anyone who could seek continuing education in the future, a DUI record could impact your plans. The more selective your preferred program is, the more likely it is that your DUI offense could be a deciding factor, especially if another potential student has similar credentials with no criminal record.
After a DUI, your car insurance rate will likely increase significantly. This is because insurance companies base their rates on risk, and driving while intoxicated is a major risk factor. It’s also possible for your insurance company to decline to renew your plan when it expires, and it can be more difficult to find coverage with a DUI on your driving record. The amount of time that your rates are increased varies depending on state laws. In Arizona, companies can look back up to seven years.
Certain countries have restrictions for travelers with criminal offenses, including DUI. For example, Canada is one of the strictest countries when it comes to travelers with DUI records. Anyone who has been convicted of DUI in the past 10 years may not enter Canada unless they have a waiver. This means that if you want to travel, you will need to take extra time and possibly incur additional expenses to make sure you meet the requirements for any countries you are visiting.
Most DUIs are class 1 misdemeanors in Arizona. However, aggravated DUIs are felonies and there are additional felony charges you could face during a DUI incident. One example would be aggravated assault if another driver was injured. Having a felony conviction on your record has additional long-term consequences, such as being unable to own a firearm, temporary or even permanent loss of voting rights, and more.
If you are facing charges for DUI, it is important to hire a criminal defense attorney. This can help you achieve the best possible outcome for your case and potentially avoid having a DUI on your record.