Understanding the dangers of drinking and driving is not rocket science. Nevertheless, too many people continue to operate their cars while intoxicated. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2014 alone, 9,967 people lost their lives in alcohol-impaired driving crashes.
If you are an individual who has been tempted to get behind the wheel after you have had a few drinks, or have not been quick to hand over your keys to a designated driver after imbibing, consider the following nine compelling reasons to not drink and drive.
- You Could Go to Jail No one likes to think about the prospect of going to jail, and for many people, being confined to a jail cell is a concept they can hardly imagine. But if you are caught drinking and driving, going to jail is exactly what might happen to you. And, if you cause any harm while drinking or driving – hit another person or cause property damage with your car, for example – jail time could very likely be longer than a night or two. In fact, if you cause a fatality you could spend many years in prison.
- Your Insurance Premiums Could Increase
If you are caught while drinking and driving and cited for the act, do not be surprised if a DUI conviction directly affects your insurance premium. This is because insurance premiums are based, in part, upon your risk as a driver. A driver who is at a higher risk of being involved in an accident must pay a higher insurance premium. If you are convicted of driving while under the influence or driving while impaired, your insurance company will likely categorize you as high risk, and your premiums will skyrocket as a direct result.
- You May Lose Your Job and Professional License-In many professions, a conviction of drinking while driving is a serious enough crime to result in employment termination or revocation of a professional license. This is even more likely if your position is one of esteem or prestige, or if you are employed by a municipal or state government. Doctors, nurses, lawyers, teachers, public figures, police officers and others may all be at risk of losing their job or license if they are caught drinking and driving.
- You Could Incur Large Fines and Fees One reason not to drink and drive is that getting a DUI is not cheap. Not only will you have to pay for the cost of the ticket, but you may also incur court fees and fines, civil penalties (if you cause injury or property damage to another party), and be forced to pay fees for reinstating your license.
- Drinking While Driving Increases Your Risk of Being in an Accident Perhaps the biggest reason to not drink and drive is that doing so significantly increases your risk of being in an accident, and therefore your risk of causing injury to yourself or to another person. According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) 27 people die per day in America as a result of drunk driving crashes.
- You Do Not Want a Criminal Record
If you are found to be guilty of drinking and driving, this information will be displayed on your criminal record, and could be viewed by future employers and others who require a criminal background check. Fighting criminal charges can be costly and your future opportunities may be severely limited if you are convicted.
- You May Cause Serious Property Damage Even if you do not cause physical injury to yourself or to another person, you may hit another object, resulting in thousands of dollars’ worth of property damage. Totaling your vehicle, hitting a stationary object, or causing damage to another person’s property simply is not worth the risk.
- You Could Injure a Child
MADD also reports that drunk driving kills hundreds of children every year. In a single recent year, there were a total of 1,149 children ages 14 and younger who were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes. Of those, 17 percent of fatal traffic accidents – or 200 fatalities – involved an alcohol-impaired driver. What’s more, another 29 children who were either pedestrians or riding a bike were struck by a driver with a blood alcohol concentration level of 0.08 or greater.
- You Set a Bad Example for Others, Including Your Family Drinking and driving does more than just put you and others on the road at risk – it also lets your loved ones know that you think that drinking and driving is acceptable. By failing to hold yourself to a safe standard, you are also telling those most dear to you that it is okay to drink and drive. If you care about the lives of your friends, family, and children, making it clear that drinking and driving is not acceptable is very important.
Legal Help You Can Count On
The easiest way to avoid these consequences is simple: don’t drink and drive. We hope that you are never involved in a drunk driving crash. If another driver hits you and you suffer injuries, please contact the criminal lawyer Burlington for a free case consultation about how to recover compensation. We will advocate for you!