Alcohol and drug abuse is a significant issue of concern to the United States federal government. One of the main reasons for this is the country’s high rate of accidents related to driving under the influence. Vast sums of money have been directed in this sector to arrest and prosecute traffic law offenders, but much still needs to be done. One way lawmakers are lowering rates is by implementing stricter laws with stiffer penalties.
Driver, beware. If you choose to drink and drive, it could have serious consequences that may impact the rest of your life. As a driver, you need to control your alcohol intake to avoid drunk driving charges, or, better yet, do not drink at all if you know you are going to drive. You can take the following steps to do your part to lower the risk:
- Plan alcohol-free driving
- Hold yourself accountable
- Find a designated driver when drunk
- Consider walking home if drunk
- Do not let friends drink and drive
If you choose to drive under the influence, you are opening yourself up to a wide range of potential consequences. Some of the possible repercussions that you could face for drunk driving include:
Causing Serious Road Accidents
When impaired, the chances of causing a road accident increase tenfold. When you have been drinking, you are not in the right state of mind to make decisions on the road. Alcohol dulls your senses and slows your reaction times. As a result, you do not have the tools needed to avoid any potential hazards on the road.
Driving drunk makes it tricky for other road users to stay safe around you because your driving behavior may be unpredictable. Many of the accidents caused by drunk driving are severe and can lead to serious injuries and even death.
If you are involved in a road accident while you were drinking, then even if you weren’t at fault, you will be held accountable by the law. Unless your criminal defense attorney is able to get the charges dropped or reduced, you could even be facing jail time, along with fines, legal fees, and more.
Once you’ve been convicted of drunk driving, you will always struggle to deal with traffic officers on the road. You may also end up with a criminal record that follows you wherever you go and can make it difficult for you to find gainful employment.
Of course, even without an accident occurring, you are still at risk of facing strong consequences for drinking and driving. Due to the high possibility of your driving being erratic in some form or another after drinking, an officer who spots you on the road will likely pull you over. While you may not have to worry about paying for damages and medical bills, you could still be in deep water from a legal perspective.
License Suspension or Revocation
No one wants to lose their license. However, if you are caught driving while drunk, there is no doubt that this may be the outcome. A license suspension means that you will no longer be allowed to drive for a set period of time. If it wasn’t your first drunk driving arrest, you could also end up getting your license revoked, which means losing it for good.
If you have a drunk driving charge, your insurance premiums will go sky-high because you are a risk to insurance companies. These companies will consider you a high-risk client. Many drunk drivers end up being repeat offenders. According to tulsa-criminallawyers.com, in Oklahoma, having multiple DUIs will result in having a felony DUI offense with harsher penalties that includes not only license suspension, but also jail time and a higher fine. To protect themselves from the costs of potential payouts down the line related to your drunk driving, they will have to charge you higher premiums because they anticipate that you will cause a severe road accident in the near future.
Your finances will also be affected by the fact that most of the people involved in the road accidents you have caused will sue for compensation. You may be held legally liable for an injured party’s medical expenses and other expenses. You may also have to pay punitive damages if the court demands it.
Financial costs do not end with paying for damage to others, though. You will also have your own personal costs with which to deal. Your vehicle will almost certainly be needing repairs after an accident. In addition, you could have your own medical expenses to get figured out. Almost everyone will have insurance coverage that at least pays part of the bills for an injured third party. However, many drivers do not carry insurance that covers personal injury.
Medical expenses can be incredibly high, and most people do not have the money to pay these bills out of pocket. Without any insurance coverage, your financial situation could quickly become precarious.
Even if your insurance policy does cover your own injuries, the damages themselves can be life-altering. Motor vehicle accidents can cause massive damage and account for over 30,000 deaths in the United States each year. Since driving under the influence greatly increases your chances of getting into an accident, it makes sense that it also significantly raises your chances of being injured or killed on the road.
Involved in a Drunk Driving Accident?
If you have been involved in a road accident and have sufficient proof that the other driver was under the influence, then you can sue for damages and compensation. According to Georgia car accident lawyer George Sink, you can use a police report as proof in your case. The police report will contain a record of the driver’s arrest, why the officer thought they were drinking in the first place, and often, their BAC test results. You can click here to find more information about car accident claims.
An injury from a car accident can severely alter your life and make things more challenging in ways you can not even anticipate. Do not pay for the mistakes of others. If you are involved in an accident caused by a drunk driver, make sure to hire a qualified car accident lawyer to get you the compensation you deserve.