Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is one of the most common criminal offenses in the United States. While there are several drivers with clean records, others have at least one DUI conviction. A conviction follows the establishment of the fact that a driver drove while under the influence. In South Carolina, this involves proving that the driver had at least a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08%.
When a person gets convicted of DUI, it has significant ramifications on different aspects of their life. Aside from the penalties listed under South Carolina law, there are other short-term and long-term consequences of driving under the influence. This article focuses on the long-term effects of a DUI conviction.
Contact our Orangeburg DUI defense lawyers immediately if you or anyone you know has been arrested and charged with driving under the influence. We are your best chance at mitigating your punishment or proving your innocence.
Long-Term Consequences of a DUI Conviction
When it comes to driving under the influence, the best thing is to avoid drunk driving. This is because it is a double-edged sword that affects the drunk driver and other people on the road. For the driver, the long-term consequences of a DUI conviction affect several aspects of their life.
Even after the drunk driver pays their legal dues, there’s a ripple effect that they cannot escape from. A drunk driving conviction can undermine your future opportunities and haunt you forever. Below, our DUI lawyers in Orangeburg discuss some of these long-term effects.
Driver’s License Revocation
South Carolina DUI laws are so strict that you stand to get a driver’s license suspension if you refuse to take a breathalyzer test. If you get convicted for a DUI, you will lose your license for six months for a first DUI. If it’s your second offense, your license goes away for one year, and it’s two years for a third offense.
However, if the conviction is within five years from the date of your last offense, the suspension would last four years. License suspension can be an unending circle, especially if you keep getting arrested for driving under the influence. The more arrests you have, the longer the suspension period.
A suspended license means that you cannot drive yourself to work or run errands. If you have kids, you cannot drive them to school. If you’re a habitual offender, you may never get to drive yourself and have to depend on alternative means of transportation.
Most employers carry out background checks before employing job applicants. The purpose of the check is to discover if the applicant has a past criminal record and for what crime. A felony or misdemeanor DUI appears in background checks and could spoil your efforts to get a job.
In addition, background checks may work against a teenager or young person seeking college financial aid. A student with a DUI conviction record would be unable to secure scholarships or revoke an existing one. It might also affect the admission process and housing application. Landlords often perform a background check before renting out an apartment.
A DUI starts affecting you from the point of arrest. Your employer will likely terminate your appointment if you miss work while in police custody for a DUI. Even if they keep you, the company might still terminate your appointment once you receive a DUI conviction. Additionally, if your work requires you to drive about, you’ll be unable to secure a job or keep one with a drunk driving conviction. Employers see those with DUI criminal records as a liability; as such, they tend not to hire them.
Auto Insurance Rates
Insurance premiums go up following a DUI conviction. This is because insurance companies see drivers who drive impaired as “high-risk,” and make them pay more than the driver without a DUI record. Therefore, don’t be surprised if your insurance rate doubles or triples.
Professional and Personal Relationships
A DUI arrest or conviction might affect how your colleagues perceive you if they know about it. Sometimes, your arrest may make the news, especially if a car accident results in injuries or death. Furthermore, it might cause your family and friends embarrassment, as well as worry over your wellbeing.
Let Orangeburg DUI Lawyers Help You!
A DUI conviction will not only take away your freedom, but it will also impact your life in areas you least expect. This is why you need the best DUI defense attorneys in Orangeburg to help you escape conviction. There are different ways to disprove a DUI claim, and our attorneys are well versed in them. Contact us today for a free consultation on your case.