When you think about the penalties of a DUI, the first things you may think of are:
- Jail time
- License suspension
- Ignition interlock device
The threat of these consequences alone may deter you from getting behind the wheel after drinking. However, there are many additional consequences that aren’t criminal penalties and can have life-long effects. Let’s discuss some of the lesser-known consequences that a DUI conviction can have on your life.
You may be wondering if a DUI conviction is enough to make you lose your job. The answer is - it depends. Technically, there is no law that states you have to tell your employer about a DUI arrest or conviction. There are exemptions for this though, like if your job involves driving. To know for sure if you need to disclose this information, check your company policy.
Georgia is an ‘at-will’ employment state, meaning that you can be fired for any legal reason with no forewarning. Because of this, firing an employee for DUI is valid.
Additionally, you are required to share your criminal record when applying for any professional licensure. Having a DUI on your record could prevent you from becoming licensed in certain fields.
This could include being unable to work as a:
- Insurance or real estate agent
If you are already licensed when you are convicted of DUI, you could have your license revoked.
Overall, the effects of a DUI conviction on your career can be detrimental.
Even without a DUI on your record, insurance can be pretty expensive. After a DUI conviction, insurance rates can skyrocket. It is estimated that individuals convicted of DUI may face insurance increases of up to 80%. In Georgia, the average annual cost of insurance with a DUI is $3,226.
Additionally, your insurance company may choose to cancel your policy altogether. If this happens, finding another company willing to provide coverage for you at an affordable rate can be incredibly difficult.
While there is no law in place that says “individuals with a DUI conviction can’t travel,” you may still run into obstacles while making travel plans.
You are free to travel to any state in America with a DUI on your record. However, international travel may not be possible. Some countries bar visitors from entering if they have any criminal convictions on their record, including DUI. Canada is one of the countries with this rule in place. If you are looking to visit up north, it will take some early planning. You may be able to request a temporary permit or submit a petition for entry. Either way, you will need to take advanced steps to be allowed into the country.
Additionally, renting a car with a DUI is a challenge. Each rental car company has different policies when it comes to renting to people with DUI convictions. For example, Avis will not allow you to rent a car if you have a DUI on your record within the last 48 months. If you need to rent a car for your trip, you must look into company policies in advance.
While a one-time DUI typically will not warrant any custody challenges, an aggravated DUI might.
Factors that lead to an aggravated DUI charge include:
- A minor child in the car at the time of the offense
- Significantly high BAC
- Excessive speeding
- An accident leading to injury or death
If convicted of a DUI of this magnitude, it may call into question your ability to safely care for your child.
Similar to child custody, standard DUI cases will typically not affect an individual’s immigration status. However, an aggravated DUI charge can make you inadmissible to the United States. If you already have a green card or visa, a severe DUI or prior criminal record can lead to deportation.
Georgia DUI Defense
You can see from this list that the consequences of a DUI conviction are far more than a week in jail or a few hundred dollars in fines. A conviction on your record can affect your life in unexpected ways. If you are facing a DUI charge, you want to do everything in your power to prevent it from becoming a criminal conviction on your record. The Lerch Law Firm can help you. We have successfully handled hundreds of DUI cases; call today so we can get started on yours - (912) 417-5008.