If the police stop you and charge you with a DWI, it will ruin your day. Yet, it could also ruin your life. Some people still talk about DWIs as if they are parking tickets. They talk about someone who gets stopped by the police driving home from the bar as “unlucky.” Yet, that is not how the law looks at drunk driving offenses.
If a court convicts you of a DWI, you will get a criminal record. People who do not know you, such as housing providers or employers you apply to, may slide your application into the rejected pile when your background check shows a conviction.
Courts and insurers will make you pay for a DWI
A court will make you pay for your error of judgment. A judge can choose from several penalty options. A first offense could result in:
- Up to 180 days in jail
- A $2,000 fine
- The loss of your license for up to a year
- An interlock ignition device that you pay for
All that for the basic level of offense. The consequences will increase if your blood alcohol content reads extra high, you injured someone, or you had a child in the car with you.
Once you are allowed to drive again, your insurer will charge you much more for the privilege. You can expect an increase of around 50% if convicted of a DWI for the first time. Further convictions would push the price up even more.
Add the financial penalties of a DWI to the financial limits that not being able to drive places on your ability to earn, and the value of fighting a DWI charge is clear. Now that you understand the consequences, you need to find out more about the defenses you can use.