“A few drinks” can lead to more than a few problems. When you receive a DUI, you are opening yourself up to a whole host of consequences. It will affect your record, both legal and driving, plus your insurance will take a hit. It’s your responsibility to acknowledge what happened and act accordingly.
Understand the Penalties
Your punishment for a DUI depends on factors such as what state you’re in and whether it’s your first offense. Some of the harshest penalties for DUI are in Illinois. According to Winstein, Kavensky & Cunningham, LLC, you could see your license suspended for as much as a year in Illinois, for example. On subsequent offenses in that state, it could be as many as seven years in prison. Make sure you’re clearly understanding of how this charge will affect you.
Receive Alcohol Education
As part of your plea or conviction, you might be required to take part in an alcohol education program. While you may protest it as being irrelevant to you, it’s still a requirement. Even if you’re not ordered to go, you should still look into one of these programs. They can really open your eyes to problems you may not realize you have. Sobriety might need to be a lifestyle change in order to keep you healthy and out of trouble.
Stay Informed About Insurance
A DUI charge will mean something of a blow to your insurance rates. That’s putting it mildly. Insurance companies have to charge more for people who are involved in dangerous activities like drinking and driving. Make sure you have an understanding of your rate increases. You also need to make sure you don’t incur any further driving citations. Otherwise, you could find yourself priced out of any decent insurance plan.
Make a Pledge
Getting a DUI is an incredibly humbling experience. It can require you to take stock of your life and the decisions you make. While you can make the right decisions to get back on the right track, you have to be steadfast. Consider how you ended up with a DUI and make a pledge so it doesn’t happen again. Maybe you’ll pledge to stop drinking. Maybe you’ll pledge to always call for a ride when you go out. Whatever it is that you decide, you want to make it stick.
There’s no hiding from a DUI. It will follow you and have an impact on your life. You have to accept your responsibility and face the consequences. By doing so correctly, you can learn from your mistake.
Author Info: Hannah Whittenly is a freelance writer and mother of two from Sacramento, CA. She enjoys kayaking and reading books by the lake. You can find her on Twitter.