It might be tempting for some Illinois residents to drive home after one or two drinks. Driving while intoxicated is exceptionally dangerous and considered a serious crime not only in Illinois but in all fifty states.
When you’re caught driving while intoxicated, the police usually charge you with Driving Under the Influence (known as a DUI charge). Unlike other traffic violations, there are serious consequences for even first-time DUI charges.
A permanent criminal record
DUI charges go right into your criminal record. This means they show up on background checks and driving records. This can negatively impact your job prospects, as any employer who runs a background check will see your DUI conviction.
It’s not uncommon for someone to lose a job after getting a DUI. If your job requires you to keep a clean driving record, you may even lose your job immediately. Even if your job doesn’t involve driving, you may lose your job anyway if your current job finds out about the charge.
Increased driving costs
Some states will require that you temporarily have an ignition interlock device installed on your car. This device tests your blood alcohol content before it allows you to turn on the car. These devices are expensive to install and maintain. You will often be the one paying out of pocket for these devices.
You may also see higher auto insurance costs after a DUI charge. Sometimes, you may be disqualified from your current insurance and be forced to find a plan that covers high-risk drivers. These plans are normally more expensive than a normal auto insurance plan.
There are also hefty fines associated with DUI charges at all levels. Depending on the severity of the charge, the court may fine you thousands of dollars.
Permanent consequences from a DUI
Even a first-time DUI offense may have a mandatory jail time of 24 to 48 hours. Your second or third offense increases it by months or years. This, of course, increases even more if anyone is hurt or killed as a result of your drunk driving.
Some DUIs result in you losing your license, temporarily or permanently. This all may seem like a harsh punishment, but that’s only because driving under the influence is oftentimes life-threatening for yourself and other drivers on the road.