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A DUI Lawyer’s Advice: 5 Reasons You Should Never Drink and Drive

There are a million reasons not to drink and drive and absolutely no reason to ever do it. For those that do risk it and get caught the penalties can be severe and even life altering. For one, insurance companies have the capability to thoroughly examine your driving history, and if they find you to be a risky driver, they can increase your rates. A DUI on your record makes this scrutiny even more severe. In 2020, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported 11,654 fatalities due to drunk-driving accidents, a 14% rise from 2019. All drunk-driving incidents are entirely preventable, underscoring the importance of never driving while impaired. We recently consulted Brampton DUI Lawyer Rupin Bal for his insights on the consequences of driving under the influence. Here are his five compelling reasons to avoid DUI, along with tips for safe driving to protect your vehicle, finances, and most importantly, your life.

#1 – Endangering Lives (Including Your Own) Driving under the influence poses a serious risk to innocent lives. In 2020 alone, nearly 12,000 deaths were linked to impaired driving. A single mistake made while under the influence can have irreversible consequences. Victims may face extensive recovery periods, lost wages, and reduced earning potential. Moreover, severe accidents can result in fatal injuries or lasting disabilities.

#2 – The Complexities of a DUI in Your Life If a police officer suspects you’re driving under the influence, you’ll undergo field sobriety tests and possibly a blood alcohol content (BAC) test. A BAC of 0.08% or higher will result in charges, regardless of your driving conduct. After a DUI charge, the severity of consequences depends on the specifics of your case and any prior DUI history. First-time offenses might be less severe than felony charges, but the repercussions can still be significant. Potential outcomes include jail time, hefty fines, license suspension, and mandatory courses. A DUI conviction can also hinder job prospects, especially those requiring driving, and strain personal relationships due to concerns over drinking habits. A DUI conviction remains on your record for life, affecting housing and loan applications. Mitigate these effects by exploring options like DUI diversion programs or community involvement post-conviction.

#3 – The Financial Impact of a DUI Fines are almost inevitable after a DUI conviction, varying by state. Costs include towing and storage fees if your vehicle is impounded, which can reach thousands of dollars. A study by Arrive Alive found that a drunk driving conviction costs approximately $23,000. Reinstating your driver’s license also incurs costs, typically ranging from $20 to $40-70 in most states, with higher fees in places like Rhode Island if your license was suspended due to a DUI.

#4 – Say Goodbye to Affordable InsuranceInsurance premiums are based on perceived risk, and a DUI significantly raises that risk. Individuals with a DUI may face exorbitant premiums, especially if their actions caused damage. Some insurers may even deny coverage altogether. While some insurers might not immediately increase premiums after a first offense, this varies. Specific states require an SR-22 form, proof of liability insurance after a DUI, which insurance companies often file on behalf of the driver.

#5 – Navigating Legal Procedures Takes Time Securing a lawyer post-arraignment can be invaluable. They can guide you through critical decisions, like whether to plead guilty or seek a plea bargain. In many first-time DUI cases, charges can be reduced or dismissed. A DUI defense attorney can significantly improve your chances of a favorable outcome by analyzing the evidence, identifying weaknesses or inconsistencies in the prosecution’s case, and crafting a robust defense strategy. This may involve challenging the accuracy of breathalyzer or blood test results or scrutinizing the legality of arrest procedures.

Safe Driving Guidelines To prevent drunk driving, use a designated driver if you’re under the influence. Rely on a sober friend or rideshare services like Uber or Lyft to get home safely. Additional safe driving tips include:

  • Adhering to the three to four-second rule for safe following distances.
  • Maintaining vigilant awareness of your surroundings.
  • Strategically planning your driving, anticipating potential hazards.
  • Abiding by speed limits to minimize accident risks.

Embracing safe driving practices not only protects your life and others’ lives but also shields your finances. Many auto insurance providers offer discounts for demonstrating safe driving habits.

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