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How a DUI Arrest Can Ruin Your Life

There is a lot of social stigma when it comes to being charged on a DUI offense. The first thought is that someone has deliberately got behind the wheel of the car when they knew they were drunk or impaired on a chemical substance. As lawyers with decades of experience handling DUI charges we know that that is not always the case. The instances where someone made a bad judgment on their own personal level of impairment are frequent. In other words, when you’re impaired you don’t make the best decisions.  And with the majority of DUI charges it really is that simple. A bad decision made by someone who was impaired, that ended up with bad consequences.

In other cases there may be some significant reasons why someone has been charged with DUI on a number of occasions. Again the assumption is that it is a malicious act; someone fully intending to be irresponsible and put their lives and the lives of others at risk. When in actuality there are many factors including addiction that make the circumstance not quite so black-and-white. Other health conditions can also make becoming impaired easier, including specific medications and even anxiety and mood disorders.

No matter what the reason there are significant consequences for driving while impaired. The state of Illinois has a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to driving while impaired, no matter what the chemical substances, which can include illicit drugs like marijuana, and even prescription medications. A DUI conviction is life altering.

Lack of Transportation

Did you know that even first-time convictions come with the mandatory driver’s license suspension in the state of Illinois?  Drivers found guilty of the first offense can face anywhere from six months to one year of license suspension. While there are provisions after 31 days is served of a driver’s license suspension which enable a driver to request a Monitoring Device Driving Permit (MDDP), individuals who are charged with repeated offenses do not qualify for an MDDP.

The length of time for driver suspension for second and subsequent offenses can range anywhere from three years and longer. Convicted drivers are also required to carry three years of high risk insurance for their automobile once their license is reinstated, at a tremendous personal expense.

Limitations to Employment Opportunities

Are you a delivery driver, taxi driver, school bus driver or in an occupation that requires you to operate a motor vehicle?  If so being successfully convicted of a DUI ensures that you will not be able to operate a commercial vehicle for the duration of your license suspension. What that means for people employed in transportation sectors is that you will either have to be transferred to another role or leave your job.

There are no exceptions to this rule when a driver has been accused of DUI. Even after reinstatement of a suspended license, given the increased insurance liability of a convicted driver, many businesses will not hire or rehire a driver who has been convicted of DUI.  Driving under the influence is truly a career limiting conviction.

Criminal Record

Certain types of occupations require a clean criminal record abstract. Whether you are working as a doctor or nurse, with children as a teacher or daycare provider, or in another caregiving or administrative role such as a government job. If you’ve been successfully convicted of a DUI and there were extenuating factors such as involuntary manslaughter, reckless endangerment, or other felony charges due to loss of life or personal injury, you will have a criminal record.

In addition to complicating your career, a criminal record can also make it difficult or impossible to visit other countries in the world. Every time you use your passport, the fact that you did have a felony conviction will appear on your public record. This can complicate everything from finding a new job, to travel, to being bondable in certain career positions and other factors.

Time in Prison

You don’t have to be a fan of the television show “Orange is the New Black” to know that serving time in prison is anything but easy. Whether you are serving a year, three years or more depending on the nature of conviction, going to prison is completely disrupting to your career, your social life, and your personal freedom.  Any driving while impaired charge that involves a loss of life can land you in prison, and if it is a second offense the sentence may surprise you. With impaired driving responsible for sentences of three years to seven years or more.

A DUI attorney in Joliet, Illinois can help you evaluate the extenuating circumstances of your DUI charge, and look for evidence that may help the plea-bargain to a lower amount of time in prison, or shortened length of time with the driver suspension.  With so much to lose and given the severity of legal consequences for DUI is important to have experienced representation to provide the best defense possible, and to help you get back to your normal life more quickly after sentencing.