A charge of driving while intoxicated (DWI) in Texas is serious business. If you’re convicted, you will be facing jail time, fines, a suspended driver’s license and more – and the penalties only go up for each subsequent offense.
However, it’s the collateral consequences of a conviction that often take people by the most surprise. These are some of the potential burdens a conviction could inspire that extend beyond sentences handed down by the court.
Increased insurance costs
Insurance companies have to account for their risks when they provide insurance coverage, and anybody with a drunk driving conviction may find themselves hampered by more than a suspended license. They may not be able to get insurance. If they can secure car insurance, they can generally expect that the cost of that policy is going to skyrocket. On average, you can expect your insurance to rise by 50.76%.
A DWI conviction can negatively affect both your current and future job prospects. Numerous jobs require people to drive from one location to the next – and employers frequently have requirements that their employees have to meet when it comes to their driving records. A DWI conviction on a background check could also raise questions about your judgment and reliability. That could easily stunt your professional growth.
If you have a professional reputation to uphold, any drunk driving conviction can damage your standing in your community, since your judgment and sobriety are likely to be questioned. For anyone trying to build or preserve a career that puts them in the public spotlight, a DWI conviction can be disastrous.
Finally, a drunk driving charge can have a significant negative effect on your relationships with others. Some family members or friends may no longer trust you to be responsible, and explaining your criminal record (and all that might mean) to new people who enter your life can strain or end a relationship before it even gets started.
With all these things in mind, it’s smart to consider all your defense options. Seeking early legal guidance can help you achieve a favorable outcome if you’ve been arrested for impaired driving.