Long-term repercussions surface with a DWI conviction. And you know you are in trouble from the start. Jail time and probation are a possibility, and you will be socked with a stiff fine. Do not forget the likelihood of the suspension or revocation of your driver’s license, and even civil legal action if involved in an accident that caused serious injuries.
These are some of the upfront costs related to a DWI conviction. But there are lot more hidden costs to come. Beyond increased auto insurance rates, you might lose your job. Your personal and professional reputation will take a hit, too. And required enrollment in an alcohol treatment program means another financial setback.
From higher insurance rates to job loss
There are many hidden and not-so-hidden costs stemming from a DWI conviction. Here is list of some of them – a few of which may not even hit your pocketbook:
- Higher auto insurance rates: Rates as much as double with conviction. The insurance company labels you as a potentially dangerous driver.
- Loss of personal reputation: Perhaps you have been well-respected within your community as a business owner, teacher, physician or restauranteur. That may likely change. And, if you have a family, you face the judgment and scorn of your spouse and children.
- Income loss: If you are serving a jail sentence for DWI, you will not be able to work. Goodbye, paycheck.
- A tattered professional reputation: This could lead to a job loss and demotion as well as limit your employment prospects if you are in the midst of a job search.
- Installation of an interlock device: In New York, any person convicted of DWI is required to have this costly device installed in their vehicles.
- Enrolling in a rehabilitation program: Whether ordered to do so by the court or an employer, you understand the costs of counseling and the burden it will have on your family if you must live in the treatment facility.
- Driver’s license reinstatement: The financial penalties pile on as you must pay extra fees to get your license back.
- Loss of custody of your children: This is rare but has happened after multiple drunk driving convictions.
On-the-surface and under-the-surface penalties exist with a DWI conviction. You cannot afford the personal and financial setbacks that come with it.