Drunk driving is the act of driving a motor vehicle while you are Meanwhile, Driving under the influence (DUI) is the crime of drinking and driving, which is too prevalent in the United States.
When one drinks alcohol, such as the following:
- Speech becomes slurred
- Vomiting and nausea
- Movements become limited or exaggerated
- Brain has difficulty in processing information
Drunk driving is a crime because it increases the risk of drivers to have car accidents hurting passengers and the innocent people on the road. Furthermore, drunk driving can destroy both private and public properties.
The laws against drunk driving in the United States was first adopted as early as 1910. Through time, it has evolved to make it compelling and enforceable.
As such, the United States now implements 0.08 blood alcohol concentration (BAC) as the limit for regular drivers and 0.04 BAC for commercial drivers. The penalty for violation of such law depends upon the BAC, previous offenses, and traffic records.
Minors are also prohibited to drink and drive. If caught, they will inevitably face legal punishment.
Thus, in this article, we will discuss the effects of drunk driving and how can it land you in trouble with the law.
1) It Can Cause Significant Accidents On The Road
When you drink and drive, you are at more risk of meeting a car accident on the highway. It is because alcohol can affect your mind-body coordination, which slows you down your reaction time to control the car. How can accidents impact your life? Here are some results:
- Physical injuries
- Emotional Stress or Trauma
- Loss of property like automobile
- Failed relationships with friends and relatives
- Civil torts and damages-victims can also file a civil case against you, which could lead to imprisonment and claiming of damages.
- Death-although not intended, but accidents can cost you your life and other people’s lives.
In the United States of America, jail time for offenders of DUI is six months, and it is a misdemeanor. However, the jail time can increase depending upon the level of the BAC at the time of the incident. For instance, if the BAC of the offenders is more than 0.08, then he could be charged with a longer jail sentence.
Note as well that in some states, jail time for first-time offenders could only be for several days. But, subsequent offenses could be in jail or prison for months or years. Again, this depends on the laws of each state, the evidence provided, the discretion of the court during the trial. Misdemeanors can also become felony depending on the case.
3) Payment of Fines
Apart from jail time, the court can impose fines for drunk driving. , a first-time offense can cost about $10,000 which includes legal fees and penalties. Aside from paying certain fines, you might be disqualified from getting your once you’re involved with a DUI offense.
4) Suspension of License
When charged with a DUI, your driver’s license can be suspended depending on the gravity of the offense. Examples of which are the following:
- First offense- 90 days
- Second offense- one year
- Third offense-three years
In some states, they confiscate the car of the offender, cancel their registration, or attach an Ignition Interlock Device (IID), depending on the case presented in the court.
5) Rehabilitation, Community Service, And Other Forms Of Punishment
Apart from imprisonment and payment of fines, the court will also require offenders to undergo rehabilitation, render community service, and victim restitution depending on the case. Sometimes, the judge can also combine fines with other forms of punishment.
6) Cancellation Or Increase In Insurance Premiums
Insurance companies will increase your car insurance premiums for your policy or even cancel it because of your criminal case and driving record. This is true whenever there is a suspension of your driver’s license.
Finally, due to the incident that happened, you can have limited job opportunities, and you cannot apply as a driver for most companies.
In a nutshell, drunk driving can lead to devastating consequences in the end if proven guilty. It can affect relationships, cause damage, and bring emotional distress in the long run. You will have a case in the court and possibly wreak havoc on your life for years to come.
To avoid such a situation, make it a habit to not drive after drinking. If possible, just sleep after drinking to be safe. You can also ask someone to bring you home.
But if you can’t help but drink and drive and caused an accident, don’t panic, and seek legal help from the experts. For example, you can ask the advice of competent lawyers in aiding you to resolve the many problems caused by drunk driving.
Janine Penn has been a writer for more than a decade. She hopes to impart some of her wisdom to others through her written works. She is often reading a new book whenever she has the time.