Getting arrest for DUI is a life-changing event. Obviously, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a big mistake, and you already know that to be true. Once it has happened, and you have been arrested, your attention is going to quickly turn to what’s next. How should you proceed? Are there any steps you can take to improve your outlook moving forward? In this post, we are going to take a look at this topic.
The Short Term
As soon as you are pulled over while driving your vehicle under the influence, you’ll know that you are in serious trouble. After all, police officers are trained to spot the signs of DUI, so it’s almost certain that a sobriety test is upcoming. Once that test has been failed, you’ll be arrested and processed according to state laws.
From there, what may happen in the short term is going to vary somewhat based on the circumstances of your offense. Some possibilities include the following –
- Losing your legal right to drive. This one is obvious. Driving under the influence is illegal and doing so is a serious violation of the obligations that come with possessing a driver’s license. You should expect to lose your license for some period of time – exactly how long you are unable to drive will depend on a number of factors. It’s easy to take the ability to drive for granted, but losing this freedom will be a harsh reality once it sets in.
- Financial obligations. There is almost certainly going to be a fine attached to your arrest. Yet again, the exact amount you are going to need to pay will depend on various factors, but this is a mistake that comes along with a price tag (in addition to many other negative consequences).
- Spend time in jail. That’s right – there is a good chance you will need to spend at least a night or two in jail, even if this is your first offense. This is something that surprises many people who are arrested for DUI. Most people understand that there will be a loss of driving privileges and a fine involved, but some are surprised to learn that jail time can be included even if you didn’t hit anyone or anything else.
As you can see, there is plenty to worry about in the near term after a DUI arrest. You’ll see a significant change to your lifestyle due to the fact that your driver’s license is going to be lost for some time, and you may even spend time in jail (perhaps for the first time in your life). If it isn’t immediately clear how big of a mistake this really is when you are in the process of being arrested, it will become clear shortly thereafter as the consequences start to pile up.
The Long Term
It should be clear by now that the short-term reality of your life after a DUI arrest isn’t exactly rosy. With that said, there are also long-term ramifications to keep in mind. One obvious one is the continued issue with your driver’s license. If your license was revoked for a long period of time, you will feel that impact on a day to day basis as you try to keep up with driving to work, running errands, etc. You may be able to secure a hardship license to get back on the road on a part-time basis, but that outcome is not guaranteed.
There are also serious consequences with regard to your career. If you are looking for a new job, having a DUI conviction on your record could put you at a serious disadvantage as compared to other applicants. Even if you aren’t applying to do anything related to driving, the character concerns that will be raised when your DUI comes up on a background check may give the employer pause.
Other assorted issues that you might face include high auto insurance rates, strained personal relationships, and more. Simply put, this isn’t something that is going away anytime soon. There are many short- and long-term impacts on your life caused by a DUI arrest, and you are likely to be somewhat affected by this mistake for many years to come.
Ideally, you would avoid the mistake of driving under the influence altogether, and never have to worry about this issue. However, if you’ve already been arrested and are trying to figure out what to do next, it’s important to think clearly through your options. Hopefully, you’ll be able to make better decisions in the future and get your life back on the right path.