If you are under the age of 21, you no doubt have many plans for your future. How would those plans change if you have a conviction for drunk driving?
A DUI mark on your record follows you and casts a long shadow over your future.
Understanding a first offense
If your driving record is free of DUIs, you should understand that the experience can be alarming in itself, to say nothing of the penalties that you face if convicted. A first offense is a misdemeanor, but a driver under the age of 21 does not get off lightly. You will pay a fine of up to $1,000, perform at least 20 hours of community service and spend 24 hours to 12 months in jail. Furthermore, you could lose your driver’s license for up to 12 months.
Looking at education difficulties
If you are a college student, you may plan to attend graduate school. You may also need certification for your chosen career. Because college administrators normally perform background checks on their applicants, a DUI conviction on your record may make acceptance to the school of your choice difficult. In addition, you will not receive approval for the state license or certification you need to enter certain professions such as education, law or medicine.
Applying for a new position
Even if you have no criminal history other than a first-offense DUI, the common practice of performing background checks makes applying for new employment problematic. A recruiter has to decide as to your trustworthiness and may choose a candidate with a clean record, even if you have the preferred job qualifications.
Dealing with other issues
With a DUI conviction, you may find it difficult to rent an apartment or obtain a bank loan. Your auto insurance agency may regard you as a high-risk driver and either cancel your policy or issue a new one at a much higher rate. On the personal side, how will your DUI conviction affect your family and friends? Will they see you in a different light? All things considered, if arrested on suspicion of drunk driving, you face an uncertain future, and you will want the best outcome possible for your case.