There are many ways in which a night of fun can end badly, especially if alcohol is involved. Alcohol tends to heighten people’s emotions and lower their inhibitions, causing them to do things they might not do sober. For instance, you have probably been at bars or parties where people behave inappropriately or start fights after too much alcohol.
One common action people do after drinking is to get behind the wheel of a car. Without the influence of alcohol, you certainly know when you are unable to drive. You also know when to avoid dangerous situations. However, after a few drinks, you may not be thinking clearly, and this could lead to unimaginable problems.
Consequences of a conviction
Of course, driving under the influence may lead to tragedy if you are involved in an accident. Not only your life, but the lives of others could be changed forever by that one decision to drive after drinking.
However, if you are fortunate to avoid an accident, you still have a lot at risk. An arrest and conviction for DUI is going to cost you a lot of money, time and inconvenience. The financial hit alone may total tens of thousands of dollars, for example:
- Bail, court costs, probation fees, other legal fees
- Drug and alcohol counseling, DUI classes
- Towing and impound costs
- Higher insurance
- License reinstatement cost
Minnesota and other states have different laws regarding the installation of an ignition interlock system, a breathalyzer-type device that prevents your car from starting if it detects alcohol on your breath. If a judge requires you to have one of these devices, you can expect to pay the installation fee and a monthly calibration and maintenance fee.
Besides the damage it may do to your wallet, there are personal consequences to having a drunk driving conviction on your record. For example, if you are involved in a child custody battle, your co-parent may point to your criminal record as evidence of your unfitness to parent.
Additionally, depending on the job you have or hope to have in the future, a DUI on your record may create a significant barrier. In some professions, a drunk driving conviction is enough for a termination. It may also prevent you from obtaining certain professional licenses. In some jurisdictions, your mug shot will end up on social media or your name will appear in the paper. This humiliation alone may be enough to prompt you to take every possible step to avoid a conviction.