You may think that getting behind the wheel of a car is no big thing after enjoying a beer or two or a couple of glasses of wine. You have done it more times than you can count.
However, it only takes one conviction for driving under the influence to seriously complicate the plans you have for your future.
Affecting your education goals
Perhaps you are in college and you are looking forward to applying to graduate school. A conviction for driving under the influence can make that difficult. The admissions committee of the university will carefully review your application, and the DUI mark on your record may prevent you from acceptance to the program. The DUI may also disqualify you from jobs that require state licensing or certification.
Causing problems at work
If you drive a vehicle for a living, the company probably requires that you have a clean driving record, so you may lose your current job once your employer discovers you have a DUI conviction. Furthermore, because of that mark on your record, you may find it difficult to get another job. Recruiters and human resources professionals run background checks on applicants, and they may prefer to hire a candidate with a clean record instead of you.
Dealing with a felony
Most DUIs are misdemeanors, but depending on the circumstances surrounding your arrest, the prosecutor may seek to elevate your offense to felony status. As a convicted felon, you would lose certain liberties, such as the right to vote, to obtain a passport and to buy a firearm. You might also find that you are not eligible for certain kinds of government assistance, such as federal housing.
Developing a defense strategy
The primary goal in managing your case would be to get the charges against you reduced or dropped; for example, instead of DUI, you could be looking at a charge of reckless driving. You may also be able to clean up your record if you attend DUI school. The point is, you have future plans, and they are too important to be adversely affected by an error in judgment you made after having had a couple of beers.