When a police officer arrests you for driving under the influence (DUI), your license and even your freedom are at risk. For many people, avoiding jail is a top priority when facing a DUI charge. Some people even agree to plead guilty to avoid incarceration.
Before you decide to enter a guilty plea, it’s important that you understand that criminal consequences aren’t the only penalties you will incur due to a DUI conviction. There will also be many secondary consequences not directly ordered by the courts.
DUI convictions make car insurance far more expensive
Car insurance companies look at your driving history, your age and even the other insurance you carry to determine how much risk you present. The premium you pay on your policy is a reflection of the company’s assessment of how much risk you pose.
Even if you don’t call your insurance company to tell them about your conviction, they will find out. It is standard practice to review a driver’s history when renewing a policy or issuing a new one.
Any traffic ticket can affect your driving record and increase how much you pay when you renew your insurance. However, a DUI can drastically alter your premium. In Oklahoma, the average car insurance policy costs $1,741. However, when someone has a DUI on their record, that amount goes up by 69% to $2,942.
A DUI conviction could affect your job
Generally speaking, companies cannot terminate you just for getting arrested. After all, there is a presumption of innocence until you plead guilty or the court has convicted you. After a conviction, however, your employer may be able to take punitive action against you.
If you have an employment contract that addresses criminal convictions specifically, your employer may be able to fire you even if driving has nothing to do with your job. Those who drive for a living likely already know the consequences of a DUI on their commercial license.
Commercial drivers aren’t the only ones who might have secondary career consequences. Anyone who occasionally drives for their job, whether they are a human resources professional or a salesperson, may find that they can no longer do their job because of the DUI conviction and the temporary loss of their license.
Fighting back against pending charges after a DUI arrest can help you prevent the lasting financial consequences of a conviction.