DUI-Related Accidents: Effects on the Workplace and Employment Include Lost Earnings and Job Loss
by Sumona Legal 25 April 2023
Drinking can be fun, and we certainly don’t want to discourage it. But when you’re out drinking, remember that driving is never a good idea.
If you drink too much and then drive, you could put yourself or others in danger. And if you get pulled over and charged with drunk driving (DUI), it can significantly impact your life. A DUI charge is not just an administrative offense but a criminal charge that can lead to severe penalties if convicted. Aside from the penalties imposed by the court, other consequences may affect your life for a long time.
What Is DUI-Related?
DUI is “driving under the influence” and refers to operating a vehicle while intoxicated. But what is considered “intoxication” in the eyes of the law varies from state to state. Some states have set blood alcohol content (BAC) limits for drivers over 21; others use illegal drug use or prescription medication as a barometer for intoxication.
Drivers drinking or using drugs should not get behind the wheel because they are likely to be impaired regardless of their BAC level. When damaged by any substance – alcohol, marijuana, or prescription medication – drivers need to be extra careful and avoid accidents that could cause injury or death to themselves and others.
The Impact of a DUI Charge on Your Employment
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, approximately 28 people die in motor vehicle accidents in the United States daily due to drunk driving. From 2010 to 2019, nearly 10,000 people died as a result of being hit by a drunk driver.
Being hit by a drunk driver is one of the most traumatic experiences someone can have. Not only does it have the potential to kill, but it also leaves physical and emotional scars that can last for years.
A DUI charge can be severe and significantly impact your life. Suppose you are convicted of driving under the influence (DUI); the effects of DUI accidents are far-reaching. They affect the injured victim, the DUI convict, and your community.
In most states, driving under the influence is a misdemeanor offense and is considered a criminal act. As such, it will appear on your criminal record and remain there for years after the case is resolved. A criminal record can make it difficult or impossible to obtain certain types of employment, including law enforcement and education jobs. Even if you do not lose your job because of a DUI conviction, employers may have access to your criminal record during a background check and may be less likely to hire you.
If you lose your job following a DUI conviction, this can significantly impact your life. You may be unable to pay your bills on time and have trouble paying for food and shelter. Unemployment insurance could leave you without income if you were not collecting it while out of work, in addition to welfare and food stamps.
If you were fired following a DUI conviction and cannot find new employment, returning to the workforce with an equivalent salary level could take years before your arrest. Many firms require history checks that include DUI arrests before employing potential employees, so even if you can find another job, it will likely pay less than your previous one.
Other Significant Consequences of a DUI Arrest
Higher Insurance Premiums
A conviction for driving under the influence will raise your premiums for years, even if your insurer doesn’t consider it a moving violation. Additionally, insurance companies will deny claims for drunk driving accidents on the grounds of fraud or material misrepresentation (knowingly lying on a policy application).
Fines and Fees
One may expect to pay between $10,000 and $25,000 for a first-time DUI violation. The estimates do not account for missed productivity or time away from work, which could result in financial losses. Potential problems, such as damage to property, motor vehicle accidents, or injuries sustained by another person as a direct result of a DUI conviction, are not included in these figures. Financial strain has no upper limit in situations like these.
Depending on the state, the state may suspend the defendant’s license for anywhere from three to six months. In many cases, refusals are met with the same punishment. A ban of up to a year or even longer may be imposed for a second offense. License suspensions may range from 18 months to a lifetime for further violations.
If you are convicted of driving under the influence (DUI), expect to spend at least some time in jail or prison. Some states require at least some time behind bars for a first-offense conviction. In all states, a first-time DUI conviction is a misdemeanor with a maximum jail sentence of six months. A sentence may be increased, however, if aggravating circumstances exist.
How a Lawyer Can Help You After a DUI Charge
A DUI charge can have lasting effects on your life, but there are ways to mitigate those consequences.
A DUI is a serious crime that can lead to fines, probation, and even jail time. But if you’re facing this kind of charge, don’t panic—you still have options to help you get back on track after the dust settles.
A DUI charge can be highly stressful and overwhelming, but it’s important to remember that there are people who are trained to help you through this difficult time. A lawyer can guide you through the legal process and protect your rights throughout court proceedings.
When looking for a lawyer after a DUI charge, consider whether they have experience handling these cases. They should also be able to provide references so you can check their work history and trustworthiness before hiring them as your legal counsel.
A DUI attorney who knows the legal system can advise you on how to proceed based on your circumstances and mitigating factors. An experienced lawyer can answer your case inquiries and advise you on legal strategy. They can also explain the penalties for a conviction and evaluate whether extenuating circumstances may reduce them.
No matter where someone is arrested for a DUI violation, they can expect financial liabilities that will likely run into thousands of dollars. DUI convictions can be financially draining.
Most people can also anticipate substantial emotional distress, inconvenience, relationship issues, and the overall effects of a DUI conviction to linger for years following an individual’s arrest for DUI. Mental health impacts can affect a person’s financial situation, including higher medical costs, decreased productivity, and extended therapy.
If you’re facing a DUI or any other criminal charge, you must understand that you have rights and legal protections. You can fight against these charges in court by hiring an experienced attorney to help you build your case.