People know that a drinking and driving conviction will limit a driver’s freedom – due to mandatory jail and driver’s license restrictions. But it hardly ends there. The decision to drive while intoxicated is a decision that will have ripple effects impacting not only your life but also your loved ones.
Does a DUI Mean that Your Life’s Over?
No, the impact of a DUI on your life does not necessarily cripple your day-to-day living and work, but it is going to be a mess for a while.
The first time you’re convicted, it can cost you thousands. You may need to post bail; you need to get an attorney, skip work to attend court hearing, and, if convicted, pay a steep fine, spend time in jail, go to DUI classes, pay for an installation of a breath-testing ignition interlock device, and also pay for it to be removed. if you’re hoping to get a good job in the future, you should know that one attribute employers search for in applicants is good judgement. DUI, if nothing else, indicates poor judgment with potentially fatal consequences.
It can be unfair to judge a person based only on one a DUI conviction, but you must also understand that employers will think twice about giving you a chance if they have better alternatives in other applicants.
Ways DUI Can Impact One’s Life
DUI can impact your life in many other ways:
- Public Humiliation – After the arrest, your mugshot will be taken when you are processed in a jail. This may be reported on in a small town or if you are a person of note. The event will certainly be recorded and will stay on your record for many years, or even forever.
- Stress – Expect to be stressed out over this. You will naturally worry about how this will affect your life, your family relationships, your job.
- Interlock Installation – The installment fee and the monthly fees for the interlock will undoubtedly cause considerable pressure on your pocketbook. However, even with all the hassle and the financial consequences, the device is designed to prevent you from driving with alcohol in your system.
- Child Custody – Fighting for children custody on an ongoing divorce case? Don’t expect the judge to look kindly on you. A DUI is a red flag that tells the court you may be an irresponsible parent.
- Insurance – A DUI tells your insurance company you’re a risky driver. Three possibilities for consequences involving insurance are:
- Cancellation of coverage
- Raising of rates
- A requirement that you purchase “high-risk” car insurance
- Employment – Your employer has the option to fire you, especially if you are working in a field where reputation is of utmost value or if you drive for work. In the future, you may be looking into gaining a license for a different line of work. A DUI could jeopardize your chances of getting such a license, and it will be more difficult to get into sensitive areas like law, finance, and medicine.
- Travel – You may be prohibited to enter certain countries, even for a simple first-offense misdemeanor. Canada is one of those countries. Even if you have obtained a visa, you may end up being detained and deported.
- Hefty Price Tag – For those who are unaware, a DUI conviction comes with a huge financial cost.
DUI Penalties in Arizona
In Arizona, the blood alcohol concentration limit is 0.08. Anything above this warrants a DUI arrest. For commercial drivers, the limit is even lower at 0.04, and for people under 21, any alcohol detected can cause the driver to be arrested and charged.
For first offense standard misdemeanor DUI (BAC below 0.15%):
- Jail term of 1 to 10 days
- Suspension of license: 90 – 360 days
- Approximately $1500 in files, surcharges and assessments
Second offense standard misdemeanor DUI (BAC below 0.15%):
- Jail term: 30 to 90 days
- Suspension of license: 1 year
- Approximately $3500 in fines, surcharges and assessments
- At least four months in prison
- License revocation: 1 year
- Approximately $4700 in fines, surcharges and assessments
Robert A. Dodell Law Office
If you are arrested for DUI in Arizona and don’t know the best steps to take, call Robert. He is an experienced criminal defense attorney in the State of Arizona. He will fight for your rights with an aggressive legal defense.