Drunk driving is a serious issue in the United States. Every year, drunk driving costs the nation about $132 billion. In fact, tobacco, alcohol and illegal drugs combined cost the nation $740 billion every year. Drunk driving needs to be taken seriously, and here are three reasons why.
- Drunk driving can have serious consequences for your pocket. On average, a drunk driver gets away with driving under the influence about 80 times before they are finally arrested. This is one reason that arrests can be so serious and costly and requires the accused to hire criminal lawyers to deal with the consequences. In Massachusetts, anyone under 21 years of age with a blood alcohol content of .02% or more can be charged, and anyone over 21 who has a blood alcohol level of .08% or more can be arrested. For drivers of commercial vehicles, the allowed levels are even lower, at .04%. However, criminal lawyers might still be necessary as some areas can still choose to charge a person if they are in an accident or are pulled over with any alcohol level above 0.00%! This is especially true for those under 21 or who have children in their car.
- Drunk driving can have serious consequences for your health and the health of others. Every day in the United States, 800 people get hurt in crashes that involved drunk driving. That’s a person injured every two minutes. For teens, car accidents are the leading cause of death, and 33% of those car fatalities are from accidents where alcohol was involved. Even though a blood alcohol level of .08% is technically the legal limit everywhere, getting behind the wheel with any amount of alcohol at all your system is seriously dangerous to you and everyone around you.
- Drunk driving can have serious consequences for your future. The ramifications of a DUI or DWI conviction can affect you for many years to come. The short-term consequences usually include losing a driver’s license for a time, paying huge fines, escalating insurance premiums, doing community service or taking a mandatory education program, and even jail. Criminal lawyers can help mitigate some of these consequences, but even with a DUI lawyer the effects of such a conviction can go on. Multiple convictions can result in a revoked driver’s license, making it hard to get a job, see family, or even run simple errands. It may become impossible to find insurance at all, or insurance premiums may become too expensive for you to afford. Some schools and colleges will not accept anyone with a DUI conviction for scholarships. Hiring criminal lawyers to help defend your DUI or OUI charge is the best protection against the worst consequences.
- Drunk driving can have serious consequences for your professional life. Even with a DUI attorney on your side, conviction consequences such as community service can make it impossible for you to keep to your work schedule, creating the potential for losing your job. New employers are reluctant to hire those with DUI convictions, and any job that requires driving become impossible to get. Additionally, an arrest and conviction for impaired driving can result in your coworkers and employer looking at you in a whole new, and not good, way.
To avoid all the serious consequences of driving under the influence, the wisest course is to never drive after having any alcohol at all. If you are caught driving in the influence, don’t hesitate to find criminal lawyers that can help you make the best of a bad situation.