Driving while under the influence is a crime. Because of the hazard that it causes to the public safety, drunk driving is treated as a criminal offense and one that carries increasingly greater penalties in all 50 states.
If you plan to drink and drive this weekend, you could end up with a criminal record, and depending on the circumstances, it could be a felony.
Forget about the danger that you are putting yourself and others into for a moment, if you get caught driving after drinking alcohol or doing drugs, you will end up with a criminal record that could affect your employment and your future.
The Consequences of Drunk Driving
Here is what will happen if you get stopped drinking and driving:
- You will be treated as a criminal. You will be handcuffed and taken to jail. You or someone you know will have to post a bond before you will be released from jail.
- You will have to go to court and face a judge or jury. If you had a blood-alcohol level more than 0.08 in all 50 states, you will be found guilty of drunk driving.
- You will have to pay a fine and court costs. You will probably be placed on probation and have to pay a monthly probation fee.
- Your driver's license will be suspended or revoked. To get your driving privileges back, in most states, you will have to go through an assessment of your drinking habits and take educational classes about alcohol.
- In many states, if it is determined that you do have a drinking problem, you will have to get treatment for your problem before getting your license back.
- You will also have to get more expensive auto insurance, before you can drive again.
- In a growing number of states, you will have to pay for and install and ignition interlock device on your vehicle that will not let the car start if you have alcohol on your breath.
There Could Be Other Consequences
The above is a list of the legal problems you can face if you get a DUI. Not being able to drive can cause you problems in other areas of your life - socially or on the job. You could even lose your job, in some cases.
Is driving while intoxicated worth all the hassle? Picking up the phone and calling a taxi or a friend to come get you would be a much better choice giving the circumstances.
Try These Tips Instead
Here are some tips from USA.gov if you plan to drink during the up-coming holiday period:
- If you drink, don't drive period, no matter how much you have had.
- Plan ahead and always designate a sober driver before the event begins.
- If you have been drinking, call a taxi, a friend or family member to come pick you up.
- Just stay where you are until you sleep it off.
- Don't ride with someone else who is impaired.
- Take the keys away from someone, if you think they are too impaired to drive.
Many areas offer "Sober Taxi" services free of charge during holiday periods. They will drive you home at no charge, if you just call and ask.
Almost all law enforcement agencies increase patrols and sobriety checkpoints around the holidays. Don't take the chance. It's simply not worth it.