Long Term Consequences of a DWI Conviction

There are several long term consequences to a DWI conviction. Whenever you’re facing a charge of DUI/DWI always retain the services of an experienced DWI attorney. Below are some of the permanent long term consequences of a DWI conviction

Financial Consequences

DWI convictions are often super costly. On average convictions for driving while impaired cost roughly $10,000.00. Between legal fees, court costs and fines, and insurance increases DWI convictions will cost you more than you think. Here is a breakdown of some of the financial consequences of a DWI conviction.

  • Increased insurance premiums. Every DWI conviction will result in a substantial insurance increase for a minimum of three years. Additionally, some insurance carriers will no longer insure you at all.
  • Increased spending on finding alternative rides such as Uber and Lyft while your license is suspended.
  • Limitations on your job opportunities. Some jobs will not hire a person without a valid driver’s license. Additionally some companies require a background check upon hiring and a DWI conviction may prevent you from passing the background check.
  • Ignition interlock devices. Some DWI convictions require an ignition interlock device in order to start your car. These devices are costly. A person with a blow and go must pay the installation and monthly service and maintenance fees. A person also pays for each lockout.
  • Vehicle towing and impound fees. Upon being charged with a DWI the vehicle you were driving is likely going to be towed and impounded. You can best believe that the state charges a hefty fee for their towing and impounding.
  • Probation supervision fees. If your DWI requires supervised probation in lieu of jail time there are fees associated with being placed on probation. A person on probation will pay a monthly supervision fee.
  • Substance abuse treatment. In order to restore your driver’s license in many states you will need to complete vigorous substance abuse treatment. Typically a person will need to take an assessment which costs $100.00. Additionally a person will need to pay for each hour of substance abuse treatment. Each hour costs $20.00. Most people will take 20 hours of substance abuse treatment.
  • Civil lawsuits. Some people who are convicted of a DWI will also face civil lawsuits. For example, while driving drunk, if you hit another person’s car or other property they will likely sue you for the damages. Or even worse if you injure or kill another person that could also result in an even more costly lawsuit.

Other Collateral Consequences

There are also collateral consequences surrounding DWI convictions. Collateral consequences of a DWI conviction is anything other than the punishment itself. 

  • License suspension. Your license will be suspended for a minimum of one year for a first time DWI conviction. Some convictions require an even longer suspension such as a permanent revocation.
  • Inconvenience. The inconvenience of finding alternative rides. The inconvenience of having a probation officer. The inconvenience of not being able to rent cars or paying extra fees to do so.
  • Immigration status. Losing your immigration status or rights to stay in America. A conviction for driving while impaired can result in deportation.
  • Permanent criminal record. In some states such as North Carolina a conviction for driving while impaired cannot be expunged.
  • Drug testing. While on supervised probation a person is subject to random drug testing. Failing drug tests while on probation can result in jail time. 

The consequences for a conviction of driving while impaired are much more extensive than many people realize. Anytime you are charged with drunk driving always retain an attorney. Never try to fight DWI charges alone. 

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